How Difficult is It to Show a Little Support?

Ferguson Police NYT 2


One would think the GOP and gun advocates would be more supportive of Americans’ rights to be free from excessive government intervention and from being shot by the police for the mere possession of a firearm. Apparently when it comes to black people, the GOP and NRA worship the government and anything in a uniform.

As Eugene Robinson writes,

If you are a black man in America, exercising your constitutional right to keep and bear arms can be fatal. You might think the National Rifle Association and its amen chorus would be outraged, but apparently they believe Second Amendment rights are for whites only.

Meanwhile a White guy can wave a gun and taunt Black protesters. And we all know the police aren’t going to shoot him.

On the Philando Castile shooting where after telling the police he possessed a legal firearm, the police shot Castile dead, Robinson writes:

Afterward, it was confirmed that Castile did indeed have a legal permit to carry a gun. He was not guilty of any crime. He was just 32 — and, incredibly, had in his brief life been stopped a total of 52 times for nickel-and-dime traffic violations.

Think about that: here’s a guy who had been stopped 52 times by the police – not in the West Bank but in the United States of America. So why is Donald Trump saying – to much praise from the Right — that in his America, he would increase Stop & Frisk? If being stopped 52 times by the police isn’t excessive government intervention then I don’t know what is. Stop & Frisk is the epitome of government excess.


We all remember this:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

But how about what comes next?

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

But overall, my biggest question is: why is it so difficult for Republicans and many Americans (including plenty of Democrats) to simply show a little support, especially when such a large sector of our society is crying out for help? Why is it that a portion of Americans are asking to be treated with dignity by the government they pay to protect them, yet Trump and most conservatives boast about making their lives worse?

Remember, the police work for us, not the other way around. The police are government representatives paid for by us the taxpayers. If taxpayers are unhappy with the services their community receives from the police, the community should have the right to protest and demand a change, and absolutely no one in America should find that controversial.

If one portion of America wants to vote for a candidate for his supposed business acumen, then tell me what successful business in the world survives when it dismisses its customers’ complaints and taunts them in response? Surely that is how one of our major parties wishes to treat us.

So when Colin Kaepernick takes a knee for the National Anthem. Or when African Americans around the county demand to receive better service from those they pay to protect them, ridiculing them is counterproductive and about as un-patriotic as one can imagine.

Wouldn’t showing just a little support make much more sense? Why not start by just listening?



Seeing this photo coincides with a conversation I had today with a friend about that sudden fear that rushes through your body whenever a police officer crosses your paths in the United States, whether it is simply a police cruiser pulling up behind you on the road, an officer standing next to you in a store, or stopping you on the street. That feeling that you must be absolutely submissive is absolutely unique to the United States of America. And I say that as a “white” boy from a nice white suburb.  It is a feeling I have never had anywhere else in the world, having lived now 16 years abroad.


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