Black Lives Matter

These days it seems like it’s easy for some people to hear, “Black Lives Matter” and to respond with, “All Lives Matter.” I guess they feel like they’re under attack or something? I don’t get it. No one goes to a cancer charity and says, “There are other diseases too.” No one would do that. That would be absurd.

 

By Daniel Scharpenburg

Back when I was in college someone once called the police on me for no reason.

I was going for a walk in my own neighborhood and someone thought I looked like trouble and they called the police. Presumably they thought it was serious enough to call 911 because I wasn’t out there very long. An officer approached me and asked what I was doing. He said someone called because I looked suspicious. I went out of my way to be respectful (I’m scared of police) and the officer walked me back home and confirmed with my roommate that I lived there. He started to tell me to be more careful been then he realized that I had literally done nothing and he stopped himself mid-sentence and told me to have a good night.

That’s my weird story about police. I have exactly one story and it didn’t really have any consequences.

I think plenty of people have more than one story. And I wonder if it would have gone down differently if I wasn’t white.

Would the officer been scared of me?

Would he have yelled and thrown me on the ground instead of calmly approaching me?

What if he just ran up and shot me?

What if the caller said they thought I had a gun, or there had been suspicious break-ins recently?

I could have been killed in the street for no reason.

That’s not to say that that definitely would have happened if I wasn’t white. I have no idea. I do know that there are people out there who had police called on them when they weren’t doing anything and then they died. That happened to George Floyd and lot of others.

I also think that if I wasn’t white I’d have more than one weird police story. And plenty of people don’t even have one. We’re sort of in a bubble and we aren’t seeing what happens to other people.

These days it seems like it’s easy for some people to hear, “Black Lives Matter” and to respond with, “All Lives Matter.” I guess they feel like they’re under attack or something? I don’t get it. No one goes to a cancer charity and says, “There are other diseases too.” No one would do that. That would be absurd.

This is what I know. Every black man in America knows that if they run into the wrong cop on the wrong day, they could be gone. And their chance of that happening is way bigger than mine.

I’m already scared of police. If I was black, I wonder if I’d ever feel safe leaving the house.

And if my sons were black, I’d be terrified.

 

Photo: Pixabay

Editor: Dana Gornall

 

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