I do not understand people who do not talk politics because politics is killing me and people like me. A few months ago, I wanted to share a blog article I wrote in a Facebook group. Two of the bloggers responded that they would not read or comment on the article because it touched on politics. I attempted to explain the article wasn’t political, it discussed business. They insisted that because it touched politics, they would not read it.
Politics are involved when police officers shoot unarmed black people.
Politics is all around us in one form or another. Whether you are talking about the Presidential election or what teachers will teach your kids at school, you are dealing with politics. A few years ago, news reports are full of a story about Terence Crutcher, a black man in Tulsa, Oklahoma who was killed by police on September 16, 2016. Once again the responses to the shooting are politically based. According to some sources, initial police reports claimed that Mr. Crutcher refused to obey commands to raise his hands. However, dash cam video shows a different story. The video shows that Mr. Crutcher was tasered and shot by police officers while his hands were raised and he was not reaching for anything
Here is a copy of the video in case you have not seen it yet.
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Some people say that we cannot believe the video and that we must wait for more reports, investigations and determinations to be made. Others say, an unarmed man, with his hands in the air was shot and killed by the police, nothing else needs to be said. Many black people living in the United States see this incident and the dozens like it that occur an all too frequent basis as political. We look at the rise of Donald Trump, the Republicans who support him and the White Supremacists who have rallied to his side and we see politics.
We see politics when police shoot unarmed black men and get paid time off from work. At every job I ever had, I was subject to being fired for being rude to customers – the people I was hired to serve. Time and time again, I look at the news and see police officers get paid time off killing the people they are hired to serve. There is something wrong with this situation. We must talk about politics because politics determines who our chiefs of police are. Politics determine who picks the district attorneys and judges who run the criminal justice system where the police go and are not charged or convicted for killing unarmed black people.
Recognize that ignoring politics is a luxury that many people do not have because it can kill us.
I am a black woman living in the United States. I am married to a black man and I have four black children. The police are killing black people and the political system in this country allows them to get away with it. I cannot ignore politics. I cannot afford to put my head in the sand and pretend these things aren’t happening or that they are not important because if I do, it could cost me my life. It could cost me the life of someone I love.
It must be nice to sit back and ignore politics. It must be nice to be able to ignore the horrific things that are going on in the world because they are political. I cannot bury my head in the sand and say, “It’s politics, I don’t talk about politics.” If I don’t talk politics and make changes at all levels of government, I cannot guarantee that my family and I will survive.
I understand it is hard to hear about the police shootings. I recognize that it is tiring to have debates about whether the police shootings of unarmed black people is justified. If you are a person who is tired of hearing about it and debating it so you don’t talk politics, stop. Stop and think about how hard it is for people to live it. I am living it. My husband is living it. My children are living it. We are tired too. We are tired of people claiming to be good people refusing to talk politics. We are tired of people who want to hear “the whole story” refusing to talk politics. We are tired of people claiming not to be racists, not to be bigots and not to be hate-filled doing nothing while people who look like me are killed.
This is the United States of America so you can ignore politics all you want. While you are ignoring everything, don’t forget that ignoring politics is a luxury that many people do not have because it can kill us.