It’s hard not to contrast the police shootout with Ahmad Khan Rahami, the suspect in the bombing spree in New York and New Jersey, with the police shooting of Terence Crutcher, the 40-year-old black man in Tulsa. Law enforcement officers disarmed the former because he was deemed worth talking to. Reports and video footage show that Mr. Crutcher, in contrast, was unarmed; why use deadly force, if you have to use force at all? This feels like yet another example of the “disposability” of black bodies, black people, black souls.
Why are black people valued less in our country? I have one partial explanation, but I offer it humbly. I’m not “woke” yet, but something is definitely disturbing my sleep.
Last night, I heard an interview with Ta-Nehisi Coates, the National Editor of THE ATLANTIC. Coates fact-checked Hillary Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” comment. (For the record, I’m offended when anyone is deemed “deplorable”, unless the word is used for its original meaning — which it never is — as something or someone to be “wept for”.) What Coates found is that, according to polling data, Clinton was correct when she said that half of Trump’s supporters are “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic — you name it”.… Read the rest