Post George Floyd

This will not sit well with many people but I hope you will hear me out. This is such a pivotal point in time where we have the opportunity to really bring about some meaningful change in the interaction between race, the police and the use of lethal force.

I look at the latest horrible shooting of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta, Georgia. People on both sides are seizing upon his death in a way that will result in further polarization and distrust. Bottom line is this: the police officer was wrong to shoot Mr. Brooks in the back, twice, but Rayshard Brooks was not an innocent man who had done nothing wrong. Holding him up as such will do nothing to help further the calls and the need for reform. It only serves as a distraction.

The death of Rayshard Brooks is the result of a perfect storm in a moment of time where people are questioning who we are as a nation.

Rayshard Brooks should not have died that night. The police officer should not have shot him in the back. Both men were wrong. Mr. Brooks was under the influence and he had been interacting with the officers peacefully until they decided to arrest him and he resisted.

If you watch the entire video you see that several officers attempted to pin him down and handcuff him and in that moment, things went left.

When I see Rayshard Brooks initially talking with the officers, I see a Black man who has definitely had “The Talk”. He was respectful and forthcoming and cooperative, until they attempted to arrest him. I have no idea what went through his mind in that moment. However, I can think of a reason why he reacted the way that he did

We are living in a post George Floyd era. Imagjne that you are a black man who has been pulled over by the police. You find yourself surrounded by several officers who have arrived on the scene. You are cooperative but you are also inebriated. And this is post George Floyd. You resist and several officers attempt to subdue you. This is post George Floyd.

I watched the video of the officers wrestling with him. I immediately thought to myself, please don’t put your knee on his neck. In that moment, I also wondered if Rayshard Brooks thought the same thing. Did he say to himself, “is this how I am going to die?”; just like George Floyd did. And then the situation escalated. He resisted, he grabbed the taser. He ran, turned back, fired the taser and continued to run away only to be shot, twice in the back.

Rayshard Brooks is dead. Don’t make him a matyr. He was impaired. He resisted, be ran and he fired a taser at them while running away. Conversely, don’t vilify him as some thug or criminal to try to justify the use of lethal force by the officer.

See it for what it. A perfect storm of events that resulted in tragedy because of systemic racism, colorism and the misuse of lethal force.

Chink chink

I find it fascinating. We have just witnessed a chink in the Trump presidential campaign machine. Over the weekend the campaign raised over $14 million dollars and supposedly almost 1 million people requested tickets to the rally this weekend. He is trying to stall the release of John Bolton’s book. He talked about all these things during the news conference that just wrapped up.

However when asked about the Supreme Court ruling, he pretty much dismissed it with, “well, they made their ruling.” And he moved on. AND NOT ONE SINGLE TWEET ABOUT IT.

He’s in a tough spot. He can’t angrily denounce the decision or degrade the Justices because his appointee wrote the majority opinion. He can’t really call attention to it without stirring up his conservative Christian supporters who will clearly be reminded that he may not have delivered the conservative Supreme Court that he promised them.

He’s either going to have to roll the dice and toss a Roe v. Wade challenge up to the Court and hope to delay any significant movement on it until after November or keep downplaying what the Court did today.

From the mind of a tangential thinker:

I really struggled during my first year of law school. My midterm grades were not good at all. I almost quit but for a meeting with my Torts professor. The conversation started with him say, “I’m not quite sure what to do with you.” We then went on to discuss my lastest essay test results. He said he started to give me an “F’ but had changed his mind because he realized I was a tangential thinker.

Come again?

So first I’ll give you the dictionary definition followed by how my professor explained it to me.

Merriam-Webster

Definition of tangential. 1a: touching lightly: incidental, peripheral tangential involvement also: of little relevance arguments tangential to the main point. b: divergent, digressive.
I still remember how he explained it to me. He said he had asked a question about a forest. Now, most students would write about the forest. A few more students might talk about the trees making up the forest. But not me. I’m special. I bypassed all of that and told him about the dewdrop on a leaf, on a branch, of a tree in that forest. And I was right. It just wasn’t the answer he was looking for.

After that huge epiphany, I had to work even harder to reframe my thoughts to answer the question with the ” standard” answer. And if you’ve spent any significant amount of time around me, you know I still struggle with it.

Sometimes it sucks standing out when all you want to do is fit in. But I digress. (Get it?)

I use to watch some of the things the president does and think to myself, “why would he do that?” Or “what was his advisors thinking?” I said in the past I thought it was being out of step and tone-deaf. Now I believe that it is a brilliant strategic move. I believe magicians call it misdirection.

Recently, his campaign announced he would hold a rally in Tulsa, OK on June 19th both of which have a special place in Black History. That was followed by announcing that his administration was going to strip healthcare benefits for transgender people. Not only did this go back on the campaign promises he made to the LBGQT+ community when he was seeking the nomination, but the announcement also coincided with the anniversary of a mass shooting inside the Pulse nightclub, a gay nightclub in Florida, where 49 people died and many more were injured.

Such insensitivity 3 times in a row can no longer be explained away as a coincidence. I believe all these announcements were carefully planned. With each announcement came the natural outrage, protests and discussions that diverted attention away from the event that started everything that is currently happening in this country and around the world. Video footage of a black man narrating his death by a police officer who held his knee on this man’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds.

Misdirection.

#MeToo – Part 2 (8 min 46 sec)

Who knew? I asked but really it is a rhetorical question. The underlying theme of the story remains the same (this is soul-crushing).

Almost two years ago I wrote about my experience as a woman who had been sexually assaulted and no one listened at the time. Now, the memories are triggered again, this time my gender is secondary to my race. Both are who I am. I don’t have the luxury of taking these identities off and setting them aside.

And now, almost two years later, here I am again. Triggered by something that is happening in my greater world. George Floyd has sparked a movement around the world. He narrated his own death as a police officer pinned him down with his knee on his neck and continued to do so, for almost two minutes after George Floyd was unresponsive and had no pulse.

Once again, I sat back and watched how some tried to justify or excuse what had happened by first saying he resisted, then he had drugs in his system. He was attempting to pass a counterfeit $20 bill. And finally, he had a criminal history.

The following is what I shared on Facebook. Never ever did I think I would share my story on that platform(it was hard enough to do it here 2 years ago). Hopefully, we will write a new end to this story.

I am having a hard time with this…

I get it that people are getting caught up in their emotions. I know I am. But I am begging you to have empathy. Whatever George Floyd was, he didn’t deserve to die the way that he did.
Why do we always seek to find some reason to justify and explain away the cruelty of some people.

I am struggling.
When I was 18 years old, I was raped by a guy I went out with (Long before the term “date rape” was coined. When the male detective interviewed me (before female detectives and sex crimes units) he told me that the guy had a criminal record of burglary but nothing else and that the guy said I consented. He also said he passed a lie detector test. So I asked the detective what happens next? Do I take a test too? And the detective said to me, “I don’t really think that’s necessary, do you? I asked him what did he mean? And he said, “I understand how it is with you young, inexperienced girls but to have sex and change your mind and say rape isn’t fair.”
When I repeated this conversation to my RA and the other detective, the first detective said he never said that.

I am not ok.

I stayed in school but a part of me was broken. It sticks with me because that was the semester I carried 19 credit hours and got A’s in all my classes. That’s also the semester my roommate came home one day and found me sitting in the middle of the floor rocking.

I don’t remember now when the next thing happened but I know that this same guy attacked a white girl and beat her up. Then all of a sudden, the police wanted to find him. I don’t think they ever did.

Wow, Regina why are you sharing this now?
If you can’t figure it then that says it all, doesn’t it?