A few minutes ago I turned the television off. Close as I can say, it took 17 minutes to blow my mind. Last night I went to bed with news of Alton Sterling – two white police officers responding to a 911 call of a black man “matching Sterling’s description” with a gun, tasered Sterling, “restrained” him on the ground, then one of the officers fired his weapon point blank, taking Sterling’s life. This morning Philando Castile – driving with his girlfriend and her 4 year old daughter, pulled over by 2 white police officers for a broken tail-light. Asked to produce his drivers license, Castile reaches for his wallet, informing the officer he has gun in the vehicle and a legal permit to carry it. Without warning the officer opens fire, killing Castile. Tonight – the “sniper” shooting of 11 police officers and a civilian at a “black lives matter” protest in Dallas. None of the above blew my mind.
African American victims of excessive force by white police officers, readily available assault weapons used in mass shootings of innocent citizens – takes more than that to blow my mind.
Personal head shakes, quips of bat shit in reference to rabid gun culture, corporate financing of bloated ineffectual politics, religious influence over equal rights regardless of gender or sexual orientation, for profit prisons and healthcare, hate speech protected by free speech and racial injustice hidden by hand over heart declarations of “greatest nation on Earth” – perplexing, but hardly mind blowing.
Tonight mind blowing arrived without invitation, delivered by a CNN reporter reacting to the Dallas shooting spree. Distracted by retrieval of rather messy brain splats, apologies for not catching her name. Her segment started with tones of sympathetic condolence for average Americans, families of regular folk all across America grappling to comprehend events of the past 2 days. She agonized for parents across the nation, parents faced with explaining to their children police officers were shot and killed. She paused, summoning Nancy Grace while words hung in the air, face twisted with incredulous outrage she repeated “police officers were shot, how do you explain that to your children!”. My brain hit the wall.
Mind shrapnel exposed the reality of bat shit – white American parents face explaining the senseless massacre of Dallas police officers, black parents are tasked with teaching their kids to avoid police. Where was CNN reporter’s anguish over black parents explaining murders of Sterling and Castile to their kids? Why don’t all lives matter? America is bat shit crazy.