Tag Archive | all lives matter

R&R Ep 30 – The Millennial Zombie Apocalypse

zombiesAs it turns out, there actually was a Zombie Apocalypse. We just didn’t notice, because instead of eating our brains, the zombies just eat their own brains.

Extensive research suggests that the Zombification Virus is spread via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and, especially, BuzzFeed. Symptoms include: all the typical symptoms of a zombie, except their brains are devoured from the inside. Researches at MIT have learned that brains do, in fact, require nutrients to survive, and the best nutrient to aid in a brain’s survival is information. Without information to ingest, human brains have been shown by researchers at University of California: Berkeley to begin devouring themselves, much as the human body will eat away its own fat and muscle tissue if food is not ingested.

The result is the Millennial Zombie Apocalypse.

Be afraid.

Be very afraid.

Here are the comments that I read in the podcast. You can read them here: http://www.thejimquisition.com/augs-lives-matter/

I am not including comments that were not made at the time of recording the podcast, because I don’t need to get pissed off again, and it’s extremely hard to stay on topic and focused when dealing with such rank ignorance and obvious doublethink. There may yet be more comments since I recorded the podcast, but I can’t even read them right now. You can click the user’s name to go to their Disqus profile.

Max Whitely

What makes this game any different from the X-men franchise?

X-men is regarded highly yet this gets slapped down. Just Because the marketing department did their jobs correctly and got people talking about it.

As for BLM, from what I read and hear on the news the American sect have a point, it sounds like too many black men are being unlawful killed.

But after the stunt BLM have been pulling today in the uk, they just need to fuck off. Mark Duggan was shot 5 years ago and guess what…..it was lawful. FEEL BAD FOR THE KNOWN VIOLENT DRUG DEALER WHO WAS WANTED ON FIRE ARMS OFFENCES! Also witnesses say he threw a fire arm away from the car. Now answer me this question, would a fire arms team be called out to a drug dealer who has never been known to carry/use fire arms? The answer is no. And the fact that he was holding and trying to discard the fire arm put the nail in his coffin for me, the police made the right call as a loaded fire arm was in fact present during the attempted arrest.

Protests in that mans name have no meaning.

Aria DiMezzo

Honestly, the more you look into the actual numbers and facts, the more you’ll find this is also the case in the United States. Very few stop to think about how easy it is to manufacture indignation in the age of social media, or how easy it is for the media manipulate the truth. The Zimmerman case is the prime example: almost everything reported in the first week about it was quickly revealed to be utter fabrication, but by then the emotions were already created, the damage already done, and people’s minds made up. It doesn’t matter if we find that this person actually did have a gun, that person actually was a felon, whatever, a week after the media has already drummed up a frenzy. By that point, the narrative is woven, and it’s an act of futility trying to convince people otherwise.

Once the hype dies down surrounding any of the stories, or those that Jim mentioned, looking into a summary of the facts will often leave people stunned at just how wrong the media and Twitter were. Worse in the case of social media, with people basically sharing blatantly incorrect posts without thinking or looking into it. Let’s keep in mind that the reason so many of these stories are well-known is the same reason we see stories about how NASA totally confirmed the Earth stopped spinning for twelve hours thousands of years ago, “just like the Bible says!!!11!one!” And that the moon totally is going to disappear for one month in 2017, or whatever. There are entire websites dedicated to unraveling myths like these, but they won’t touch BLM stories for reasons I’ll outline below (even going in that direction results in someone being called racist–many would call yours or my comments racist). So instead we get stories of how Obama didn’t actually go over Niagara Falls in a canoe.

So the damage is done, and then confirmation bias handles the rest, not to mention that the media’s goal is to garner attention, not be honest (after all, if the media cared and was interested in more than clicks and views, they wouldn’t have basically given the nomination to Trump with constant free advertising), so they’re not talking about the 50% of Americans each year who are killed by police who are white, or the 25% who are Hispanic. Nor is any news agency held responsible for releasing a narrative that proves to be completely false and that contributes to an inaccurate representation of reality that feeds directly into manufactured social unrest. A week after any of these stories hits, it is absolutely impossible to convince people that the first few days reported incorrect information, even if the media itself has corrected the initial claims.

And people just ignore things. Jim not long ago said a gastly (pun intended, not a typo by Jim) number of black people have been killed. No doubt, and I speak out constantly against police brutality. I doubt someone has argued more against it than I have. However, if that’s the case, then an even gastlier number of white people have been killed (an indisputable fact). Yet it’s considered racist for me to even say that. Even pointing out a documented fact can be considered racist now. Yet the truth stands: we have a problem with police brutality, period, and it’s an issue that clearly crosses skin color. It’s quite obviously racist (By definition) to take a problem that applies to everyone, and pretend like it only applies to one race. Yet this doesn’t fit into their narrative, so they simply ignore it. Confirmation bias and willful ignorance in action. If anything, BLM is a striking case study in how easily we are manipulated.

What’s most interesting to me is that, for many people, even learning the actual facts won’t change their worldview. It’s all well and good to show them what actually happened and how police freaking kill everyone indiscriminately, but none of it will change what they already believe. It’s exactly like trying to convince a fundamentalist Christian that evolution does NOT suggest a Boeing could be created by a tornado in a junkyard. Their minds are made up. And, once made, it’s often impossible to change that, even when the “facts” that led to that worldview are revealed to have been wholly wrong. Find any “SJW” and show them the news story of the pervert who claimed to be transgender and then spent weeks taking pictures of underage girls in the women’s bathroom, and it won’t change their understanding. They won’t accommodate the new information into their worldview. They’ll acknowledge it, excuse it, and then ignore it. Goodness knows I’ve been guilty of this, but made the conscious decision to stop, once I became aware of it, and ended up a nihilist anarchist. Cognitive dissonance is dangerous, and on full display when people are confronted with the knowledge that their facts are wrong. When their loyalty to their belief is stronger than their loyalty to truth, it’s well-documented what people will do: they’ll ignore the new information.

diamond (Please note: if you click this guy’s profile, you’ll find he is a FULL-ON Regressive)

Zimmerman is a fucking racist piece of dogshit, that is a fucking fact. This year he retweeted a picture of Trayvon Martin’s body and also illegally uploaded nude pictures of his girlfriend onto the internet without her consent. So yeah he can go and die in a fire for all I care.

You sound unbelievably fucking ignorant, fact is black americans are disproportionately targeted by police all the fucking time.

Black people are only 10% of the U.S. population, that’s what you seem to forget, so more white people then black people being killed everywhere means absolutely fucking nothing.

Sounds like you’re the one that’s easily manipulated into this nonsense “BLM are EEEEEVIL” bullshit.

Aria Dimezzo

All you do is lie (no, black people are not “only 10%” of the population–bring facts or gtfo) and call people racists. Your lack of intellectualism is embarrassing. Please stop and go play at the kiddie table.

Men make up more than 90% of all people killed by police each year, but don’t come anywhere close to making up 90% of the population. Should there be a Male Lives Matter movement?

Max Whitely

Yes I agree with you. I can’t comment on America any further than what I read in the news but in England it’s very different. Police brutality isn’t a thing over here, they don’t carry guns. So if you have a couple of police officers beating you down you probably deserve it. As some one who has been on the reviving end, I can honestly say they wouldn’t randomly start beating you, black or white.

Every single British PC has a go pro on their jacket and they have to film every arrest they make. So every thing is caught on tape so brutalising people isn’t an option.

Reading the comments given from one of today’s protest organisers just makes me think that they just wanted to cause trouble.
She gave the quote
“Black people are three times less likely to be hired for a job.”
I don’t understand where they pulled that “fact” from but I have no way of checking it so I will give them the benifit of the doubt. But you have to keep in mind that in the last 10-15 years there has been a very large influx of polish workers who (illegally) work for well under our minimum wage, so finding a job is a very difficult.

So I’m guessing black life’s matter are lumping Polish people and British people in the same category because we are both white….. Thats kind of racist if you ask me.

Aria DiMezzo

There’s definitely still racism in the United States, but, like gender, it is not really a binary thing. My gargantuan video on the subject (it weighed in at 28 minutes) evaluated things and concluded that BLM is as racist as anything else, and it’s impossible to end the problem of racism with racism. There’s a reason MLK wasn’t arguing that black people should be treated better and instead argued that skin color shouldn’t be a factor; yet now we have Black Lives Matter that basically argues the opposite: regardless of her character, Ms. Gaines’ skin color should protect her from the police.

Yet many of the people fighting this are just as guilty, with their “Proud White Male” shirts and stickers while they criticize BLM for being racist. Just like BLM, people like Atheism is Unstoppable attempt to solve the problem of racism with more racism, even as they acknowledge that two wrongs don’t make a right.

As long as we let skin color, orientation, gender, etc. be factors, then racism, orientationism, and sexism will exist. More than ever, we need to be fighting for people to be treated as individuals, not as one of thousands of adjectives they could describe them.

But that message isn’t “any fun.” It’s fun to take part in these mob-like groups. Humans feel immense satisfaction from uniting together, and these are low hanging fruits.

I live about twenty minutes from Memphis, Tennessee in the United States, where BLM protesters shut down the interstate and primary bridge across the Mississippi river. I followed the event intensely, and it became increasingly clear that everyone was posturing, and no one’s hearts were in it. This immediately made me realise that it was absurd to the highest degree that BLM was protesting in a predominantly black city with a predominantly black police force, a predominantly black city council, and a long history of black mayors. Was the contention that black lives don’t matter to black police and black leaders? If so, that’s hardly a problem of “racism.”

Their protests in cities like Memphis revealed their hands: they will manufacture outrage wherever they can. Meanwhile, police chief Rollings (don’t remember now how his name was spelled), a black man, delivered some of the most beautiful and profound answers I’ve ever heard. But the point remains: Why is BLM taking their grievances to a black police chief who oversees a mostly black police force in a city that is mostly black and that has mostly black leaders? Something about this entire thing is wrong.

[It should go without saying, but before people are up in arms, let me clarify that “they” refers to BLM advocates, not people of any particular race. In fact, you’ll find it impossible to accuse me of being racist, because, unlike the SJWs who insist they don’t see color while they support BLACK Lives Matter, I actually apply that philosophy]

Max Whitely

Yes I agree, I think people who support groups like this just want to feel like they are a part of something.

I’m glad you have given a good example for me to read up on so I’m more clued up on the American side of this.

The whole BLM movement is such a first world thing, it’s cringe inducing watching today’s protests. A bunch of over privileged people getting enraged by things that are, at best, a non issue and at worst, non existent.

I would like to live in a world where racism doesn’t exist, and if I see racist behaviour I will point it out and stand firm. But let’s be honest here we’re never going to stop racism. It’s literally impossible. And telling non racist people that they are racist is only going to make the accused turn racist or completely submissive to the accuser, neither are good outcomes.

To others who might be reading this, look, oppression still exists on this planet. But it’s not where your protesting.
Look what happened to that Chinese lawyer… Jailed for subversion, THATS OPPRESSION!
Look how many rights a females in Saudi Arabia have that’s oppression.

Black lives matter forget that black men and women are needlessly dying every second in places like Ethiopia, but of course “those” black lives don’t matter, there not American are they. I feel like I’ve done more to help black men and women in third world countries than BLM has.

Please note here that Max and I are having a civil discussion about police brutality and racism in the west. Both of us acknowledge the existence of racism and have clear ideas on how the problem of racism might be solved. We have been entirely civil, entirely calm, and entirely careful with our words. Neither of us has said anything remotely racist or offensive, but it doesn’t matter. Not to regressives like “diamond.” Seriously, click his profile. It’s almost nothing but him insulting people and calling them stupid. He’s an absolute waste of a human brain. He is an Ur Zombie.

diamond (to Max Whiteley)

BLM is so not first world you fucking moron, if you lived in the U.S. you would get that.

BLM does not “forget” anything, it’s just focused on black people dying in the U.S.

Saying that because other countries have it worse then us means racism is not an issue in the U.S. is incredibly disingenuous.

I’m going to try to keep the analysis low, because I covered it all in the podcast, but wow! What’s that they say about glass houses, dude? If the first sentence in your reply is “you fucking moron,” then you have no right to call anyone disingenuous, as it hardly gets more disingenuous than ad hominem attacks.

diamond (to me)

BLM are not racist you dumb fuck. They are not “manufacturing outrage”(that’s the stupidest fucking thing i’ve ever heard).

Also anyone who uses stupid fucking terms like SJW unironically is a fucking idiot.

You sound like someone is racist but does not want to admit it.

Again, just… wow. “You’re wrong, you dumb fuck. You’re wrong, that’s the stupidest fucking thing I’ve ever heard. You’re a fucking idiot. You’re racist.”

I mean, it is just exactly this, isn’t it? And it’s a bit of this, too. And definitely some of this:

And a lot of this:

I mean, I have fully described and explained this guy’s behavior long before he ever wrote his comments. Listen to those podcasts. Read those Quora links. It’s indisputable: I’ve completely identified people like him, and I call them faux progressivists. Others call them regressives, but I don’t think that’s true, technically speaking. They’re not regressive, because there hasn’t been any progress that can be regressed, as I pointed out in this video:

It is incontestable that I have analyzed this person’s worldview and ripped it to pieces as being shallow, pedantic, and based entirely on manufactured emotions. I have defeated him. The problem is–there are so many of them, and they still have all the influence. So their defeated worldview continues ruling the western stage. It’s no wonder things are in such disrepair. Anyway, getting back to the comments.

Aria DiMezzo

Answer this, then, since my reply is being moderated and I don’t know if Jim will approve it since it contains an external URL–to a relevant substantiating remark, of course, but still an external site.

Is “White Lives Matter” racist?

The answer, of course, is a resounding “Yes.”

But you would give different rules to Black Lives Matter? That you would give different rules to one race than you would another race, yes, that’s the definition of racism.

So unless you’re going to stand there and say that “White Lives Matter” isn’t racist, we’ve actually revealed that you, sir or madam or other, are the racist.

Bloodycrow

What a stupid question. Acknowledging the phrase and the movement behind Black Lives Matter does not mean any other race or standing of people is diminished.
However, changing BLM to “____ Lives Matter” does diminish the meaning and intent of the movement.

Aria DiMezzo

im, have you noticed that all of the lack of civility in this thread has come NOT from people like me, but from BLM advocates? All of the insults, ad hominem, and obfuscation has straight up come from BLM advocates. I think that should be a pretty strong indicator of what’s happening here.

That you, Bloodycrow and diamond, cannot have a discussion without immediately resorting to personal attacks and obfuscation, which does nothing but reveal the feeble weakness of your position.

I already addressed that racism is not tied to diminishing a race, but is defined as sectioning off one race from other humans and prescribing a different value to that race. Even if you say “Black people have big dicks,” you are STILL being racist.

“Black people have big dicks.” (Positive remark)
“Black people have little dicks.” (Negative remark)

Both are equally racist.

Whether the racist remark is positive or negative has NOTHING to do with whether it is racist, and I already made this point above. Of course, you ignored that (which I pointed out in my very first comment here), but it’s still obviously true.

Bloodycrow

I see you’ve edited the comment I responded to, well done. I’ll keep my comment as I stand by it.

Please don’t lump Jim in with myself or diamond, I think I can speak for all of us when I say we don’t speak for each other. 😉

When I said your question was stupid, as it was presented before your edit, it wasn’t meant as a personal attack. It was a stupid question, not to say that you are stupid. I feel like I shouldn’t have to point that out, and having to do so is stupid.

This is an abject lie. The question is, and has always been: “Is White Lives Matter racist?”

Aria DiMezzo

I have not edited that comment at all, you liar. If I edited it at all (I’m 95% certain that I did not, though I did edit this one, to add this), then it was to add the last paragraph, which changed no part of the question. The question was, and has been since I initially posted: “Is White Lives Matter racist?”

And you have still not answered the simple question.

============

Furthermore, he didn’t “acknowledge” the phrase or the meaning. He explicitly said that it is NOT racist.

Answer the simple question. Stop obfuscating. Answer the question.

It is not at all a stupid question. It shows your willingness to turn a blind eye to racism if a certain race does it.

If there was a White Lives Matter movement arguing against the 50% of police murders each year who are white, it would be called racist. We both know that to be true.

But when Black Lives Matter happens, people come out of the woodwork to doublethink their way into saying it’s not racist. I addressed your chronic need to ignore what people say already. Kindly actually answer the question.

So I was unable to avoid responding to two comments, primarily because Bloodycrow lied and stated that I edited a comment that I absolutely did not edit.

And here is the best proof I can provide: the Disqus page, though Disqus doesn’t show edits, this one links directly to the comment that had been replied to, which was mine. The way Disqus works, if you click a link to a specific comment, it will not load newer comments. It stands to reason that it will also not load edits that were made to comments.

proof

I’m not trying to reach any of these people, to be honest. I know that diamond’s mind is closed. Jim’s, however… is not. I do believe he can be reached with well thought-out positions and eloquent arguments. It is, however, extremely frustrating, dealing with people like this. It’s very hard to stick to the high road and stay on-point when dealing with a constant stream of ad hominem attacks, but that is what must be done. Any rational person reading that comment chain will go, “Okay, here are two people having deep, provocative, and intellectual conversations… and there are two ass-hats who think ‘you’re fucking stupid’ is an argument…”

Footsoldiers of the State

Sorry if this makes you uncomfortable. However, the facts support everything I’ve said here.

Before we begin, I want to say:

Great. I’m glad that we got that out of the way.

There’s a lot of conversation in the United States right now about police brutality, and it’s been hijacked by a racially motivated crowd that distorts the facts and twists the reality–it is a tool of the state, whether intentionally or not, to keep us distracted from the real issue because we are focused instead on a byproduct of that problem.

The real issue is police brutality and unchallenged police authority.

The false issue is one of Black Lives Matter, turning the police brutality directed at all Americans into something that is racially motivated, when the numbers and facts simply don’t support that narrative. Here’s a map of the incredible 1,186 people who were killed by police last year, in 2015:

police1

It’s hard to look at that without my heart breaking.

And the false narrative put forward by upper and middle America is no more accurate, either, as they insist that the police are our friends and are here to protect us. They are not. There is no protection from the police–quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who will guard the guards?

No one.

When you are out there in the world, there is nothing that protects you from a random police stop, and you will learn very quickly that you have no protection from the police. “Checks and balances” become non-existent. You cannot argue with them. You cannot dispute them. You cannot challenge them. There are countless ways that the procession could go, but many of them result in a bullet square between your eyes. Even when they are being recorded and you’re a law-abiding citizen with a right to carry, as recently happened in a grotesque video that I will not link, the police are unaccountable.

As Llewellyn Rockwell wrote in Fascism Versus Capitalism:

The government is totalitarian because it acknowledges no restraint on its powers. This is a very telling mark. It suggests that the US political system can be described as totalitarian. This is a shocking remark that most people would reject. But they can reject this characterization only so long as they happen not to be directly ensnared in the state’s web. If they become so, they will quickly discover that there are indeed no limits to what the state can do. This can happen boarding a flight, driving around your hometown, or having your business run afoul of some government agency. In the end, you must obey, or be caged like an animal or killed.

That’s something that we Americans should keep in mind. When that police officer pulls you over, if he has it in his mind to give you a hard time, then there is nothing that you can do about it. The officer can tell you to step out of the car while he does his work. Then a K-9 unit will show up. Why? Did you give the officer any reason to think that you were on drugs? No. But you were young, and you have tattoos, so they brought in backup–a K-9 unit. Then the dog sniffs around your vehicle and evidently signals to them that he smelled drugs. Did you see that happen? Do you know that’s what the dog really signaled? Who the hell knows? Only they know.

So they tell you to stand way back there, by their car, as they search your vehicle. You ask them to hand you your cell phone so that you can record the stuff that’s happening, and they say they’ll bring it to you in a moment. What do they really do? They find your phone and start reading your text messages. Are you gay? Do you have obviously gay stuff on your phone? Better hope the officer doesn’t dislike gay people. Or ensure that your phone is locked. At any rate, they go through your phone rather than bring it to you, as the other officer combs through your vehicle, desperately looking for drugs. They open up the fact and find an unlabeled pill bottle–they’re thrilled! They nod knowingly, and you can see it in their faces. We knew it, they are thinking. And we got ‘im! Great day for freedom!

Then they open up the pill bottle and learn that it’s just being used as a container for assorted screws. What the hell else is so perfectly suitable for holding random screws? Of course, you knew all along that there were screws in it, because it was your bottle, but that says nothing about whether it is actually illegal to carry around an unmarked pill bottle, regardless of what is in it. They spend a few more minutes searching, and then they ticket you–somewhere between one and three tickets. And you escape, thankful that it’s over, thankful that they didn’t plant drugs–because there would have been nothing that you could have done to stop it. Then your life would have been over.

This happened to me a number of years ago, when I was pulled over for having a tag that was expired by six days–totally reasonable that I simply hadn’t known the tag was expired. I ended up with a total of three tickets, was delayed to the client’s that I was going to by an hour, and humiliated in the middle of Memphis as a K-9 unit arrived, signaled for drugs, and the cops spent forty minutes tearing apart my vehicle. And never found anything because I’m not fucking on drugs. Yes, I have tattoos. I was also wearing loafers, khakis, and a button-up shirt with a tie when they pulled me over, and clearly on my way (from the tech stuff in the passenger seat) to work. And the Collierville police got an honest to fuck K-9 unit after me.

They also went through my phone. I saw them doing it, though they didn’t think I could see them. The second officer had the door opened at the perfect angle for me to watch the first officer through the sideview mirror as he picked up my phone and went through my text messages.

I would argue that my Constitutional rights were violated that day. After all, the dog was a police officer, in the eyes of the law. By what right did the dog search my vehicle? Oh, sure, he searched my vehicle with his nose, but that’s hardly even relevant. He searched me, one way or another, and the officers used it as an excuse to totally reject my Constitutional rights,  because this dog–my accuser who I could not face because he didn’t even speak English and they were the only conceivable translators–gave them probable cause. Firmly beneath the state’s heel, I could do nothing but watch and hope.

Not terribly long ago, I was pulled over by a curious state trooper. It’s a long story. I had a very unusual vehicle, though, and he wanted to be sure that my paperwork checked out. I had my insurance card in the console, so I opened it up to give it to him, as he had requested, and–

Holy shit! My loaded 38 Special is sitting right fucking there!

Now, this is in no way illegal. In the state of Mississippi, I can (and do) keep a loaded gun with me at almost all times.

I snapped the console shut and threw my hands into the air. When the officer looked at me quizically, I shouted over the roar of the Interstate traffic that I had a loaded 38 in the console, and that I had stupidly put it on top of my insurance card. He didn’t seem to even care. He just kind of shrugged and said “Go ahead and get it.” So I did.

But it occurred to me almost immediately that I would have probably been dead if my skin was black. That is true, and it’s hard to escape that reality.

However, this is not to say that police don’t have some foundation for that bias. It is similarly hard to escape the reality that it is true–most violent crimes in the United States are committed by black people, not white people. Does this justify their “Shoot first, ask questions later” mentality? Absolutely not. I’m not justifying or rationalizing anything. No one despises police and police brutality more than I do. However, it does make sense that they would be less likely to shoot a white person than they are to shoot a black person. Is this okay? Is this acceptable? These two questions are irrelevant. We live in a world of is, not a world of ought. How things ought to be is largely irrelevant to how things are actually are.

Of course, more than 50% of people killed by police in 2015 were white, while a little over 30% were black, according to http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2015/12/28/3735190/killed-by-police-2015/ . However, they also have doctored the numbers a bit, as they have clearly lumped people of “Unknown” race in with black Americans. The Washington Post actually reports the numbers more accurately, but I can’t find the link at the moment, as about 120 of the people killed by police in 2015 were of “Unknown” ethnicity. The only way Think Progress’s number of 30% makes sense, versus the 25% reported by the Washington Post, is if those of “Unknown” ethnicity were mixed in with the black numbers.

Not that it’s important–it’s not seriously important to quibble over 5%.

When black Americans make  up 13% of the American population, but 25-30% of the people killed by police, it’s hard to escape the idea that black people are disproportionately killed by police. Based off their population, excluding all other factors, we would think that 13% of people killed by police would be black. But notice my wording here: “…excluding all other factors.”

There are other factors. Let’s take a moment to remember NWA’s “Fuck Tha Police”, for example:

Beat a police out of shape
and when I’m finished, bring the yellow tape
To tape off the scene of the slaughter

Now, really? You can’t have a culture that venerates stuff like that, and then be surprised when the people you’re talking about are more inclined to regard you as a threat. Again, I’m not excusing or rationalizing anything, but we have to be rational and reasonable here. Certainly, not all black people are part of that culture anyway, and certainly not all black people endorse stuff like this:

C'mon. Seriously?

C’mon. Seriously?

Who sees this going well?

Do you see a future college graduate? Or even a future high school graduate? No, it’s not because he’s black that we don’t see a future college graduate. It’s not because he’s black that we don’t even see a high school graduate.

It’s because he’s like 8 years old and is pointing a gun at the camera while wearing a wife beater (Hey, I wear wife beaters, too… It’s my main male look, in fact, but they do give a bad image). We see a future criminal. Not because he’s black, but because he’s clearly walking that path. He clearly thinks he looks cool, and there’s no doubt that his father there in the orange jacket was the one who taught them that this is cool. This image is why police are more likely to shoot black men than white men. I’m sorry that makes people uncomfortable to hear, but this must be addressed before we can resolve the issue of racism in the country.

If you have a part of the culture that loves lyrics like:

Beat a police out of shape
and when I’m finished, bring the yellow tape
To tape off the scene of the slaughter

…while proceeding personally along the path like we see in the image, then we simply can’t be surprised when people are superficially and, perhaps, wrongfully assumed to be part of that culture when the determining characteristic of who takes part in that culture and who doesn’t appears to be skin color. This excuses and justifies nothing. If, however, we have police who “Shoot first and ask questions later,” then we simply cannot be surprised if they disproportionately shoot people who appear, by cultural weights, to likely belong to that part of the culture.

But this isn’t a war against black people by police.

It’s a war against people by police.

So far, in 2016, 505 people have been killed by police. 233 of them were white–nearly 50%–which is in-line with the numbers from 2015, when 50% of the people killed by police where white. It’s simply not a case of Black Lives Matter. It’s a case of Police Authority Is Out of Control. They are out of control because they were never supposed to have authority–our democracy was not designed to accommodate a police force with the authority to shoot first and ask questions later.

There once was a time when law enforcement consisted almost entirely of elected officials, and people who those elected officials personally selected as upstanding moral citizens. They were constables and sheriffs, a glorified neighborhood watch who went around and performed citizen arrests because we didn’t want to be bothered with it. There was a time when even these elected officials had no more authority to stop and harass someone than you or I do.

Now look.

We have city police departments that resembled militaries, SWAT teams with ridiculous degrees of weaponization and training.

Look at this. Look. At. This.

Look at this. Look. At. This.

This is the problem. This is a police vehicle. This armored behemoth is a police vehicle.

Is it any wonder that our police are totally out of control, that they shoot first and ask questions later, when we have stupidly allowed them access to killing machines like that? These are police! What the fuck are they going to be doing that requires a vehicle like that? The gap between police power and citizen power has become so great that few people even bat an eye at this monstrosity that the police have to “keep the peace” and to “serve and protect.” They now shoot first and ask questions later, and no one points out that… No. When you put on that badge, you are knowingly risking your life in an attempt to protect the innocent. That is what it means to be a police officer. If you would shoot first and ask questions later, thereby creating a real chance of directly harming someone who is innocent, then you have no right to wear that badge. That is what that badge means, that you are willing to give your life to protect the innocence. If you would shoot first and ask questions later, then you are clearly not willing to give your life to protect the innocent. In that case, you are demonstrably willing to kill the innocent to protect your life.

My heart truly breaks for all the people killed by police, and I want it to stop. But they aren’t being killed because of their skin color. Not really. They are being killed because our police no longer are willing to give their lives to protect the innocent; they are willing to kill the innocent to protect their lives. This is the inevitable result of having a branch of the state that is actually on the ground, the ones on the frontline in the war that humans have been fighting for thousands of years against the state. This was always going to happen, from the moment we turned over responsibility to a designated police force that was in the employ of the state. We are not their employers. The state is.

The police are the footsoldiers of the state. They are the ones on the frontlines, maintaining the state’s order at all costs. It should be no surprise that they are no longer willing to give their lives to protect the innocent; that is no longer their job. The job of the police is to protect the rule of the state. They do not ask questions. They do not question orders. They obey.

And they tell you to obey.

And if you don’t, then they put a bullet between your eyes.

Wake up, America. The problem is not racism. That is a problem, yes, but police killing a disproportionate amount of black men is a symptom of a larger problem, and is not an illness. Stop treating symptoms. Start treating the illness.

The illness is that the police even have the authority to do this. The underlying problem is that police even can shoot first and ask questions later. Get rid of their ability to do that, and you also completely nip in the bud the killing of a disproportionate amount of black men. Treat the symptom, and the disease will remain.

This is happening right before our eyes. And we are not questioning the underlying power of the police that allows them to do shit like this in the first place. That is the real problem; that is the real heart of the matter. We are fast allowing the state to use the police as its footsoldiers, not as a glorified neighborhood watch whose responsibility is keeping the peace and protecting the innocent.

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Look, if I happen to be in a situation where I believe the person is a violent criminal, no one expects me to Ask Questions First. I’m not expected to give the person the benefit of the doubt if they break into my home, are trespassing on my property, or any other number of crimes. But I’m not a police officer. I’m not wearing a badge that says I’m willing to give my life to protect the innocent. No one is going to blame me if I shoot first and ask questions later, and they shouldn’t. I never agreed with the public or with society that I would give intruders the benefit of the doubt and possibly risk my life protecting the innocent. My responsibility is to protect my life.

This is not true of police, though. Police are required by honor, by goodness, by virtue… to give the benefit of the doubt, to Ask First, and Shoot Later. That is what that badge entails. They are there to protect the innocent, and they know before becoming police officers that they may very well have to give their lives to protect the innocent.

So why does that change in practice?

Why do we just pretend like it’s not a blatant violation of their expressed values that they shoot first and ask questions later? Someone who is willing to give their life to protect the innocent will not shoot first and ask questions later, because there is too much potential there for the person shot to be innocent.

The police are not our friends. They are not on our side. They are not there to serve and protect us.

They serve the state.

Never forget that.

This in no way means they should be killed–for fuck’s sake, can we stop killing people for two goddamned days? Please? Can we please stop killing people? I’m so sick of death and murder–whether by police, by white men, by black men, by the few women who commit murder. I’m tired of it. Can we please just try to swear off violence? For a few days? Maybe?

Can we just stop being violent animals for a few days? Three days? Can I have three days where we, as thinking, rational, emotional, loving human beings, stop killing people? This includes war. This includes ISIS. DAESH. Whatever you want to call them.

We are stone age barbarians with nuclear weapons. What could possibly go wrong?