I had no idea George Floyd’s death would become the catalyst for a global movement. For me, a Black man dying at the hands of police is just business as usual. To be honest, I’m numb to it. When looking at the data, I believe I’m justified. According to Statista Research Department, as of July 29, 2020, a total of 558 civilians have been shot, 111 of whom were Black. The rate of fatal police shootings among Black Americans was much higher than that for any other ethnicity.
Yes, remember Rodney King. I listen to the tape of Philando Castile’s girlfriend praying in vain, for God to save her boyfriend’s life. It’s heartbreaking.
The term “Living While Black” has to do with (White) people calling the police on Black people for questionable reasons. Amy Cooper is such a case as she could have gotten Christian Cooper killed. Trevor Noah explains it well. A Black man birdwatching is the definition of minding your own business. Even then you aren’t safe.
When I was in college, a local paper covered the story of a bar that was letting White students in for free but charging Black students. That led to a protest outside of the bar. White and Black students were picketing the bar. I saw Whites come, learn of the protest and do one of three things. Find another bar, go inside, or join the protest. I couldn’t look at the White students and guess what they would do. At that moment, my world changed. How would I ever know which Whites to trust? The same is true for White police officers. On my way to Shabbat, I was pulled over because my license plate was “too light.” On another night, leaving the Wellesley area, my car broke down. The officer was nice enough to let me use his cord so I could charge my phone and call for roadside assistance. When I see someone who is White, including police officers, how can I tell if they are friend or foe?