Sunday, June 08, 2008

They Shoot Black Men, Don't They?:

Sean Bell and the Internal (and Eternal) "Logic" of Racism,

[excerpt]...White boys don't get blown away at traffic stops, and they don't get shot in the back of the head like Arzuega was in Brooklyn over a decade ago, after which crime the cops didn't even report the incident for three days. They aren't felled in a hail of bullets reaching for their cell phone because police naturally and "reasonably" assume
that the object to which they will soon be clutching is a firearm.

And the benefit of the doubt--the presumption of innocence and the assumption that white lives count for something--is why white folks get to keep breathing, even when they do pose a threat to police, unlike Diallo, or Dorismond, or, in the instant case, Sean Bell.

So, for instance, how long do you think cops would wait before opening fire on a black man who was throwing bricks at them? If you're looking for an answer, you might want to ask Lorenzo Collins. Only you can't, because he's dead, his last moments spent encircled by fifteen of Cincinnati's finest, while holding a single solitary brick, and merely threatening to throw it their way. On the other hand, there have been literally dozens of riots by drunken, white college students since 1995--mostly because of such earth-shattering events as the outcome of a sporting event or crackdowns on underage drinking--during which white males (and pretty much only white males) have chucked bricks, bottles, chunks of concrete, frying pans, rocks, frozen beer cans, and entire beer kegs at police. And not once have the cops shot a live round at anyone....