Responding in a Deeply Divided World

In a world where we are deeply divided and the internet has offered the world the greatest mask of anonymity I’ve ever witnessed, I wanted to lift up a conversation. Recently, I wrote an article criticizing CNN and other news outlets for instantly looking for a criminal history of Black victims after they were shot by the police. In that article, a fellow made an interesting comment. While it’s one comment, it’s indicative of the many I’ve received since I started writing. It’s a representation of how some well-intentioned folks and some not-so-well-intentioned folks so effortlessly try to cast our humanity to the side. Whether you acknowledge it or not doesn’t change the fact that I see it as an attempt to further dehumanize us.

Here’s the full comment:

“So the guy has a gun on him and is resisting arrest, not smart. Ive had several occasions where I was confronted by police. I was polite and complied with their orders. Im still here. 64 people were shot in Chicago over one weekend and no one batted an eye. Black Lives matter, yes. However, why is it that it only seems to matter on a national level when its a white cop that shoots a black man? Enough with the racial divide. Use your energy to bring people together, not further the divide.”

-Josh

I am person that actually tries to respond to every comment so I’m going to go through this entire comment. Line for line. Josh, whoever and wherever you are, I hope you appreciate this.

 

“So the guy has a gun on him and is resisting arrest, not smart. “

In the case of Alton Sterling, we didn’t witness a man resisting arrest. What we saw was that man be tackled by police officers. What we saw was that man pinned to the ground with both arms secured. Surely two trained officers could have subdued that man until more back-up came.

 

“I was polite and complied with their orders. Im still here.”

I’m glad that worked for you. I’ve been pulled over before. I’ve always been polite and complied. Many of the times, everything was fine. There were multiple times where I was harassed. Pulled out of my car and told to get on my knees and was cuffed. See, we both have stories.

 

“64 people were shot in Chicago over one weekend and no one batted an eye. Black Lives matter, yes. However, why is it that it only seems to matter on a national level when its a white cop that shoots a black man?”

I’m quite aware of the madness happening in Chicago. However, caring about both of these issues aren’t mutually exclusive. Also, why do you assume that we aren’t having these conversations about both things? If you look through the archives, you’ll see that I speak about things in my own community far more than I do about cops. The issue is, maybe YOU are only paying attention when we are yelling about police killing Black folks.

 

“Black Lives matter, yes. However, why is it that it only seems to matter on a national level when its a white cop that shoots a black man? Enough with the racial divide. Use your energy to bring people together, not further the divide.”

Sir, those lives matter to me all the time. I don’t enjoy watching us or anyone else die. There doesn’t need to a racial divide, you are more than welcome to join me in raising light to these issues.

I am glad that my writing, on some level, has brought us together. I don’t want to see anymore people die and I would bet you feel the same way, Josh. Hope you continue to engage.

 

-Cole Out

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