The tragic story of Sandra Bland is a sad, chilling new low in this nation’s plague of police brutality and racial profiling. Enough is enough. In this quick take, I talk about Black Lives Matter as a movement that’s more than a phrase.
The way Sandra Bland was treated — and I believe ultimately killed — by those corrupt Texas cops makes me physically ill. I’ve been thinking about it all week. A society that lets this happen is not free.
And don’t tell me “all lives matter” as if we’re all treated equally. We’re not. Many of the people who parrot that generic platitude also make excuses whenever law enforcement targets and eliminates a black life for no reason but to exert power over someone they see as “less than” themselves.
The frustrating thing is, of course all lives matter. Nobody has ever suggested they don’t matter in the way that police and the justice system suggest black lives don’t matter. As Arthur Chu said, it’s like running through a cancer fundraiser shouting, “There are other diseases too!”
Nobody can argue against Black Lives Matter — so they deflect. “What about cops who do a good job?” “What about others who get killed?” “What about murder by non-cops?” None. Of. That. Is. Relevant. Everyone who commits murder generally has to pay for it, except cops, and cops generally target black people. They know it’s true, but they don’t think it’s a problem. Because black lives don’t really matter to them. They demonstrate why the movement must exist.
Black Lives Matter is real. Real lives are really being taken every week by officers who never have to answer for it like anyone else would. That’s not freedom. All people, together, should stand up for black lives and speak out for police reform and a better justice system.