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July 15th, 2016

Today, I read a writing which essentially said, “Most law enforcement people are good people! Don’t lump them all in with the bad ones.” It is pretty much the umpteenth time I have heard that sentiment repeated. I have repeated it myself several times—because it is very much true.

You know what I’ve never heard? Anyone on the side critical of BLM and the cause of protest saying, “the majority of black people and of the membership of BLM are peaceful, non-violent, law-abiding citizens fighting for their rights; it’s just the few bad people on the margins making the rest look worse.” We pretty much *never* hear that stated aloud. Quite the reverse: the Dallas shooter was not BLM, but he discredited the entire movement just by being black—something that is supposed to be avoided at all costs when regarding the police.

Why is that?

This is one of the central issues, in fact: cops are automatically afforded respect, society demanding that we give them the benefit of the doubt even when they commit a crime; the reverse is true for people of color in this country.

When the five cops is Dallas were killed, *everyone* hailed them as heroes and decried the villain who shot them. If any of them had a blemish on their record, bringing it up after their deaths would be unforgivable; it would quite rightly be pointed out that such a thing would be irrelevant, and trying to make it relevant would be crass and indecent. Suggesting that the shooter was anything but the worst of criminals would be literally unimaginable, and any fate they suffer would be justly deserved.

When an innocent black person is killed by a police officer, however, the exact opposite happens: that victim is instantly demonized, every blemish on their record is instantly released to the public so as to define who they were, and their names are dragged through the mud—while the person who killed them is shielded, excused, defended, and in almost every case, exonerated.

In short, we treat black people as if their lives don’t matter.

Ergo the movement.

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