Thursday, 7 July 2016

The US: killing for difference.

The US is a bleak reminder of how man without basic understanding of equality self-implodes without blinking, and those who are left vulnerable and isolated cry tears that are ignored by everyone apart from their own race.

The past 48 hours have been a reminder of this very point.

Alton Sterling, killed at 37
The deaths of Alton Sterling and Philandro Castile are perhaps not that well documented in the UK, with the Iraq war and the Chilcot Report being the issue discussed amongst the debaters and media.

But for those of us who use social media forms such as Twitter, the bleak news coming from the US is that once more two innocent black males have been murdered. Not killed in the name of the law but murdered. 

Not surprisingly the black community of both the US and the UK have been at the forefront of criticising the US police force and their gross misuse of their firearms. But why just them?

I appreciate it hits harder when you, as a black person, could have very easily been in that position.

But for me, I am just as disgusted as those who are black.

Forget race, forget nationality; as human beings we are equally sympathetic and feel grief in the same way.

However, I see Sterling's and Castile's death as deaths that are more grotesque than usual as they were motivated by a fear of colour. A hatred of culture. An extermination for being different to the police officers who fired the fatal bullets.

Demonstration at the site of Sterling's death
Without a shadow of a doubt there will be demonstrations against the law enforcement within the US.

And without a shadow of a doubt there will be criticisms of these demonstrations, branding them as 'ignorant' or 'hateful'.

Well ignorant they will not be.

Hateful they will and most certainly should be.

Hundreds of African-American citizens have been killed this year by the police officers of the US. Plenty of them due to one man firing without just cause.

Sterling was killed after selling CDs outside a shop. He was pinned down by two police officers and shot multiple times in the chest, bleeding out on the tarmac as his life left him. He was 37 and killed, leaving behind children.

Castile was pulled over for having a faulty tail light. He informed the officer of being armed because of his right to be so. The officer asked him to get his ID from his wallet and on doing so was shot multiple times whilst his daughter sat in the back and his girlfriend sat next to him, begging his blood-soaked corpse to not be dead. He was 32 and killed, leaving behind a child.

There are videos of both these incidents. I have seen both and feel horrified by the fact they are genuine.

The US is a remarkable nation filled with brilliant people.

It is a nation that claims to be the leader of the free world. A beacon of hope. A land that allows anyone to become someone, something, powerful or influential.

But how far off can a description be when having a different skin colour from white makes you vulnerable? How can a beacon of hope be a beacon when it shows light on racism and death and not hope?

I am a white male. I have had a good upbringing without prejudices. I have never feared for my life.

I cannot empathise with those who have been fearful for their life. I cannot empathise for those who have been put down for being a minority.

But I can sympathise for those who have been.

If it's only blacks standing up for blacks then whites will only stand up for whites.

The labelling of races isn't one I like but it is necessary when some kill because of this division.

Express an opinion. Make a point. Do not allow those responsible to get away with murder just because they claimed to be doing their 'job'.

No job requires the death of an innocent human.

It's another dark day in an ever darkening world.

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