Wednesday, April 8, 2015
G is for Git 'Er Done
I had to change my G today, too. My mind goes where it goes.
Our society seems to be gradually losing its soul. Power seems to hold more value these days than human lives. Over the last couple of years it almost seems that we have come to not only expect that killers will be sent free, but many people have determined that they should. Society is being conditioned to believe that life is so invaluable as to willingly accept its loss over a loose cigarette or an unpaid child support order. We seem to have a growing number of people who first seek control and then exploit it with an enthusiasm that a reasoned person could never comprehend. It is as if there is a joy or a pride in the excitement of wielding power over another person. I won't go into the myriad of possible causes because it is too complex for a simple piece, but the representations are all around us.
The video released last night of Walter Scott being shot and killed was a horror to me. As a woman who never received child support, I would have loved for someone to have taken the warrants for my back pay seriously. But I wouldn't expect anyone to die over it. I held myself as I watched the video and became nauseous. I felt the fear of this man running from gunshots. I watched the cop and couldn't imagine what he could have been thinking, "I don't want to chase after this man who I pulled over for a simple driving infraction, I'll just shoot him until he's dead." Git 'Er done, motherfucker.
We saw Eric Garner strangled to death last year and I have not been able to shake that vision. I am haunted by it and, I imagine, I will now be haunted by the Walter Scott video, as well. Mr. Garner never posed a threat to anyone. He was a single man surrounded by police officers. He begged for them to stop and there was no moment of reflection where the officer realized the man had been subdued and he needed to step away. One of the commonalities between the Walter Scott murder and that of Eric Garner is the fact that after they were both clearly dead, they were put into handcuffs. Was it to make it look like they were alive for anyone who was watching or was it still part of their need to dominate? Who gives a shit? Git 'Er done, motherfucker.
The list of murders by those in power lately seems endless. Trayvon Martin was murdered by a man who should have had no power but who claimed his power by stalking a boy who was coming home from the store, starting shit with him, getting in a fight with him, losing a fight with him and then killing him because he was losing the fight that he started. And because the state of Florida gives Zimmerman the power to "stand his ground," he was afforded a (completely bullshit) defense and given his freedom. He saw a black kid in a neighborhood he thought he had no business being in and decided it was his responsibility to take care of it. Git 'Er done, motherfucker.
In Cleveland last year a 12 year old boy, Tamir Rice, was in the park with no one around. The police pulled up and shot him. There was no warning given. This child had not even had an opportunity to register what was going on and they killed him. These police officers get a call about a "young man" in the park with a gun and they drove in with an immediate instinct to shoot him. That is not how they were trained to deal with this situation. There were several steps in the middle that they completely surpassed where they would have determined that #1 he was a child #2 the gun was a toy #3 he was a threat to no one. They decided to forego all of the training they were given and just drove up to murder this child. Git 'Er done, motherfucker.
I truly don't give a shit whether or not Michael Brown was disrespectful to the cop in Ferguson. He was unarmed. He was being harassed for having walked in the street instead of the sidewalk. I personally don't believe that the officer felt threatened, I believe he felt disrespected. I believe that he had a genuine sense of entitlement to his power and position and would not accept anyone refusing to treat him with the cowering respect he believed himself worthy of. And if I'm wrong, I'm still right. No offense Michael Brown is reported to have made warranted a death sentence. But the officer felt completely justified in killing him just the same. Git 'Er done, motherfucker.
When does society demand it be the responsibility of the police officers to treat their citizenry with respect until they are given a reason not to? When do we demand that they offer respect to both the power and the weapons they are given in their job of protecting and serving our communities? These officers are, at present, protecting and serving their own egos. Period.
And don't get me started on our "representatives" in Washington who think diplomacy is for the weak and demand that we got to war. Like Louie Gohmert said last week, "Its time to bomb Iran." Indeed. Git 'Er done, motherfucker.