Indifference is perhaps one of the most complex and potentially dangerous emotions a person can have towards another human being. And with this latest police shooting in Tulsa, Okla. involving unarmed Black man Terence Crutcher, the nation once again has to grapple with trying to understand how Black lives are largely disposable.
The standard definition of indifference is a lack of concern, interest or sympathy. Essentially, looking at life through a lens without any connection to the world around you is a result of either some manner of trauma or the signs of being sociopathic.
That a movement like Black Lives Matter exists to address the staggering number of people gunned down by police should be a telltale sign that something is terribly amiss in our country. But what ends up being the sinking reality is that to police officers, especially white men and women of the badge, Black Lives more than don’t matter — there is nothing that emotionally connects the cops to the Black person they have their service weapons drawn upon. That is the danger of indifference.
According to The Guardian‘s The Counted website, 193 Black people have been shot and killed by police in 2016. Of that number, 33 were unarmed, just like Crutcher was when he was gunned down like a criminal for having a stalled vehicle on the side of the road last Friday. The video of the shooting is disturbing, and audio from police radio described the 40-year-old father and college student as a “big, bad dude” and other such nonsense.
But it isn’t just Crutcher’s death that alarms. Around nine Black women have been killed this year as well and there seems to be even less said about their deaths in most cases. Granted, many of these women were armed, as in the case of Koryyn Gaines in Maryland, but an untrusting public has remained skeptical about the circumstances of Gaines’ death and some of the other women rightfully so.
Walking about the United States of America as a Black person, one couldn’t help but feel that their life is expendable considering the facts. Each time a Black man or woman is pulled over by police, they will most likely be filled with immediate dread that the officer holds dominion over the fact if they’ll live or die. While people continue to misconstrue Colin Kaepernick‘s stance as an affront to the flag instead of addressing the ongoing carnage, bodies are dropping in the streets far too often.
Being seen as less than human is something Black people have faced since coming to America’s shores against our will long ago. Despite the strides made and the barriers broken, nothing can erase the notion that being Black might also mean never being seen as equal or non-threatening to those in power.
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