Recently there have been Blacks Lives Matter demonstrations throughout our nation due to the disproportionate numbers shootings of Black people by police. There have also been retaliation shootings and killings of law enforcement offices. For decades Black communities have complained that far too often law enforcement has used excessive lethal force targeting Black people.
Traditionally law enforcement uses guns as its primary means of dealing with physical threats in an alleged criminal activity. Nightsticks, mace, and Tasers are occasionally used but guns are usually used because they are the most effective means of removing physical threats. Law enforcement teaches recruits to shoot multiple times at the upper body mass which presents a large target and does the most deadly damage. Special police units investigate fatal shootings and some go to grand juries and a few go to trial. But virtually all law enforcement officers are acquitted and their cases ruled as justifiable homicides.
I find it a bit disturbing that virtually all law enforcement officers are acquitted of killing Black suspects when there are videos of the shootings which in a some cases clearly shows that the suspect posed little threat when shot and killed. Maybe it was bad training or judgment that does not prepare law enforcement officers to recognize the suspect as unarmed. Or maybe it was racial profiling or racism that was one of the reasons officers shoot Blacks because of their conditioning to think that Blacks have more tendencies towards violence, especially gun violence, and thus by default posed a threat. But Black lives matter as much as anyone else’s, perhaps more so in light of the disproportionate numbers of Black suspect killed. Perhaps the acquittal of police officers is due to those who investigate the shootings believed that they do not want other officers to risk taking that split second of doubt not to defend themselves. But this is not reason enough for allowing Black lives being taken. Law enforcement must find better ways of dealing with such situations. The status quo is unacceptable.
That leads me to the other subject of how we treat people of other colors and nationalities, especially where we engage in deadly conflicts in combat. I’ve already expressed my feeling about wars. Wars cheapen lives. They make our troop’s lives expendable on the battlefield and the lives of their enemies having no worth. We kill our adversaries with impunity and occasionally splash photos of their dead bodies in the media as if they are worthless as human beings. We praise our troops for killing these people as if it is our birthright to rid the world of such evil. But we fail to see the entire picture, the other perspective. We even deny that there is another side, so righteous we are. But there actually is another side to the story.
Our enemies in the Middle East view us as the invaders occupying their lands with tens of thousands of highly trained and armed troops and killing hundreds of thousands of their parents, wives, husbands, children, brothers, sisters, cousins, uncles, aunts, and friends over decades of occupation. There are probably no people in these war-torn nations where some close family member was not killed or injured by our troops or weapons as a result of combat or collateral damage. So just as you would feel if a foreign invader came here and killed your family members over decades of occupation, many Arabs have nothing but deep hatred for us treating them as if they didn’t matter at all. And the killing and hatred continues under the guise of ISIS and Al-Qaeda and other hostile terrorist groups that we were probably responsible for their formation.
So why do other lives matter so much less than our own? Are we all not of the same species made of the same flesh, blood, brains, and bones? When we kill another species we usually eat it as food. When we kill our own species in battle we leave them to rot in the dirt and sun unless taken care of by their own. We treat these human beings with far less respect than the meat we eat. So why do humans do such evil to one another? We as a nation should know better because we claim to value human rights.
Black lives matter but so should others regardless of where on earth they live or the color of their skin or what religion they happen to believe. All lives should matter, especially those of color, but they really don’t. Some still have the barbaric caveman in them. It seems deeply embedded in their skin deep DNA.