Shame at being a member of the human species is all I can feel right now.
Tomorrow at 2pm Eastern, 11am Pacific, the best and greatest accomplishment of humanity will be on display once again as Crew Dragon initiates a new page in our destiny. I will be ecstatic it if launches successfully and merely happy if it is scrubbed again. But today I feel hopeless and ashamed for my species.
In rapid succession:
A black man is assaulted by a white vigilante for the crime of jogging in an affluent community and killed for having the temerity to resist the assault. It is covered up by local police until a video of the event was leaked.
We then swing from the horrific to the obnoxious. A white woman was requested to leash her dog by a black birdwatcher. So in retaliation, she called 911 and fabricated a criminal charge of threatening her life against him. How dare he ask her to comply with the law? All caught on viral video.
A black paramedic was shot to death in her own home when plainclothes police kicked her door down in a mistaken “no-knock” search. Her boyfriend, thinking they were subjected to a home invasion robbery fired a shot in self-defense but it was the woman who caught the return fire. Eight rounds worth. The 911 call by the boyfriend is heartbreaking. The suspect they were looking for was already in custody.
They obviously did not identify themselves in any useful way. And what if they did? A criminal bent on mayhem can scream “Police!” just as loud as any real cop as they kick your door down. And WTF were they doing while the man was making the 911 call?
A black man is choked to death by a white police officer who kneeled on his throat for 8 minutes. You can hear the victim gasping that he couldn’t breathe. You can hear other officers asking him to let them turn him over and the officer refusing. He kept his knee on that throat for a minute and a half after no pulse could be detected. Again, all caught on video.
My question is why didn’t the other cops force him off that throat? What kind of professional courtesy trumps a man’s life?
As if to cap horror with absurdity, Minnesota police arrested a black CNN reporter and his cameraman covering the protests in Minneapolis. The whole thing was recorded for national television until the police took the camera away. We even see the reporter asking if they were in a bad place and where they should move to, with the police offering no explanations of why this was happening.
After 2 hours they were released when the police indicated they had “verified the individuals’ credentials.” The camera crew and very expensive video camera weren’t clues? Nor was the CNN ID badge clipped to his shirt? The nearby white CNN reporter with a different camera crew was not harassed.
I don’t understand humans. I am, today, ashamed to be one. The color of one’s skin makes one neither a saint nor a devil. There is plenty of white on white violence and black on black violence as well. In this country it just happens we have a centuries-old problem perpetuated by certain humans who refuse to surrender the notion that one’s group membership is a valid metric for the value of one’s life.
So, while tomorrow I will celebrate the best and the brightest of humanity, I cannot help but be reminded of the worst of humanity. Some say that you cannot have great good without great evil to balance but I believe good has a tiny advantage over the long term. The species would have perished long ago if it did not – let alone have evolved to where the various forms of discrimination and bias are considered immoral by a majority of people in my native country.
And it is because of that the world continues to improve – even if the rate seems glacial.