A Plan To Stop Police Killings Of Black Men
Mike Muse Host of the "The Mike Muse Show" & Co-host of "Sway in the Morning" on SiriusXM
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Black voters’ power at the ballot box is vast, but it’s time we used it for one very specific thing
Watching the cellphone video of Ahmaud Arbery being hunted and gunned down hit me differently. It wasn’t more or less tragic than the many, many other Black men whose murders we have witnessed over the past decade — the ones choked to death on a sidewalk, gunned down while playing with a toy gun in the park, cut down in the passenger seat while complying with an officer’s directives. But it was very different in another way: The two White men who killed the 25-year-old Arbery, George and Travis McMichael, were not officers of the law. The father and son were merely residents of Georgia, who took it upon themselves to leave their homes and hunt Arbery down as he jogged through the neighborhood. The Jim Crow-era tactics of the past have become contemporary trauma.
Yet, the most chilling part wasn’t the act itself, but finding out that the prosecuting attorney advised the Glynn County Police Department that there was “insufficient probable cause” to issue arrest warrants for the McMichaels. Be clear: That decision deemed a Black man’s life disposable. It demonstrated that there is no consequence in taking a Black man’s life — that White men can take that life by simply playing into the narrative that Black men pose an implicit threat and citing “stand your ground” laws as shelter.
If there are no consequences in taking a Black man's life, there will never be a hesitation in pulling the trigger.
Black men are still far more likely to die by police violence than White men. According to research published in the multidisciplinary journal Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences, about one in 1,000 Black men and boys in America can expect to die at the hands of police — that’s a rate 2.5 times more than that for White men and boys.
But what happens when there is no viral cellphone video to invite scrutiny and force local officials’ hands? What happens when such decisions fall to a district attorney and police chief, with no outside oversight? I have a solution, and it’s based on one simple principle: voting.
But not just any type of voting. I am asking Black voters to become single-issue voters on the issue of criminal justice reform. I hesitate to make such a recommendation — single-issue voting often prevents the voter from looking at a candidate’s holistic platform — but we are in unprecedented times. The hashtags are becoming difficult to tweet, the protests are becoming exhausting, and pleading for elected officials to value our lives has become demoralizing and dehumanizing.
Original Source: https://level.medium.com/a-plan-to-stop-police-killings-of-black-men-c8c12ac37800