We can’t talk on our phones at an Ohio Wal-Mart while holding an air pellet rifle without being seen as suspicious, even if that rifle is classed as a toy, it’s aimed at the ground, and open/carry is legal in the state (John Crawford, III).
We can’t walk down a Utah street with a fake sword even though Utah is an open/carry state–and that applies to *real* swords too (Darrien Hunt),
Our kids can play in public with toy guns, but they’d better expect concerned citizens to freak the fuck out and call the cops. Once law enforcement officials arrive, we can expect them to open fire before assessing the situation (Tamir Rice).
If a loved one is shot by police and lays dying, we can’t be allowed to rush to their side. But we can be confident we’ll be treated horribly by police during our attempts to do so (Samaria Rice, sister of Tamir).
Our babies can’t be asleep in their cribs without flash grenades going off in front of them (Bounkham Phonesavanh).
Running from the police even if we are unarmed is out of the question bc apparently that’s grounds for being shot to death. In the back (Walter Scott).
We can’t walk outside in near-freezing temperatures with our hands in our pockets bc some “concerned citizens” are worried that a black person with their hands in their pocket must be guarding a nuclear weapon rather than warming their hands (Brandon McKean).
We can’t circumvent state tax laws on cigarettes bc OMG the world will end. And if we do, we can expect to be choked to death. Because violating state tax laws on cigarettes is totes grounds for being killed (Eric Garner).
As adults, we cannot have an attitude or be disrespectful to law enforcement officials during a traffic stop bc authoritarian thugs don’t like their authority questioned (Sandra Bland).
As children we must remember to always be respectful and deferential to law enforcement officials-even ones nicknamed ‘Officer Slam’-bc if we don’t, we deserve to be body-slammed or so I’m told by a lot of white people invested in upholding white supremacy (Spring Valley High School teen).
Our kids cannot be loud and unruly at a swimming pool. Not unless they want to be treated like an armed and dangerous felon, grabbed by the hair, thrown to the ground, and sat on by a really swell douchebag in uniform (Dajerria Becton).
If we are in the midst of a mental health crisis and the police are called, we have no guarantee they will assist us, but we can be confident they’ll make the situation worse (Tanisha Anderson).
We can expect our constitutional rights to be violated if we commit even low-level crimes, bc apparently the punishment for robbery is execution by cop (Shelly Frey).
We can’t expect our children to be able to sleep in the comforting presence of a grandparent without worrying about SWAT teams raiding the wrong house (Aiyana Stanley-Jones).
We don’t get to do any of these things, whether legal or not, without being harassed, detained, abused, brutalized, or murdered by police officers bc our existence is constantly under supervision by agents of the state. At every turn, black people across the United States are overpoliced. From everyday actions like getting an attitude with teachers, to not being thrilled at being pulled over for a bullshit reason, to yes, even committing a crime-black people are not allowed the luxury of any benefit of the doubt. At every turn we are treated to civil rights violations and a denial of basic human rights. For another group of USAmericans, this is not the case. Members of this group are accorded undeserved privilege, even in situations where one of them is a direct threat to the lives of police officers (Roger Hale), or situations where one of them point firearms at cops and children (Lance Tamayo), or even in cases where two of them show up at a Wal-Mart, remove BB-guns from their boxes and shoot up the store (two drunk guys). Even in these examples, when these people were a direct threat to others, no excessive force was used against them. In addition, none of them were killed, despite the danger they posed (which is why I find the “my life was in danger” line used by many cops to justify the murder of suspects to be, how shall we say, hollow-as-fuck). That’s all part of having DUM DUM DUUUUUUUM: White Privilege!
And for the latest example of ‘shit only white people can get away with’ (also known as DUM DUM DUUUUUUM: White Privilege) we have a story out of Akron, Ohio:
Akron has been abuzz with spottings of Daniel Kovacevic, 25, walking with a rifle on his back Monday near the University of Akron.
Deone Slater, owner of Kangaroo Kutz on East Exchange Street, did not to want to let Kovacevic in front of his shop Thursday morning. Kovacevic called police.
“He was a threat to my community,” Slater said. “If I can prevent him from shooting up the city, I would. I won’t condone it. Somebody’s got to stand up.”
I don’t know what Mr. Slater is worried about. Kovacevic is only patrolling a local African-American neighborhood, not the entire city. So if he starts shooting, only one part of the city will be targeted. The part that can’t rely on the cops to do anything until after any shots are fired.
Slater said police arrived within seconds and tried to calm Slater, who was yelling profanities at Kovacevic.
“He (Slater) was obviously emotional and concerned about his safety and the safety of everyone in the community,” said Sgt. Doug Sandor, one of the officers arriving at the scene.
Kovacevic — who like anyone in Ohio is allowed to carry weapons openly without a license — went on his way. Police had received no further calls about him as of early Thursday afternoon.
Don’t you just love open/carry laws? They enable someone like Kovacevic to terrorize a community and get away with it. And the cops can’t do anything about it because of his +10 shield of whiteness. I mean, because of the open/carry laws in the state. However did I slip up like that? I mean it’s not like Kovacevic’s race plays any role in how he’s treated by law enforcement. Why, I’m sure that if a black person were in his shoes-toting a rifle through a white community, giving less than a shit about how the site of a gun-wielding citizen might make people feel-that black person would experience the exact same treatment by police as Kovacevic…right?