July 8, 2016
You know what really grinds my gears? Each time a black person gets killed by the cops, and everyone freaks out. People take to social media and lament how black folks get killed time and time again. People on television talk about how the police’s job is to de-escalate situations. They say the police should use tasers.
First: of course captain obvious. Cops shouldn’t kill citizens. Their job is to protect their citizens. But citizens have responsibilities too. We have responsibilities to one another. We shouldn’t kill one another. We shouldn’t rape. We should respect authorities when interacting with them. Some of us do not uphold our part of the bargain sometimes. Some of us are sick, some of us are just plain evil. Either way, it happens. Cops are humans, like citizens. Like us, sometimes they make mistakes. Sometimes, some of them are just plain racist. The point is, whether you’re a citizen or a cop, sometimes you mess up. It’s part of life!
Second: why are we only getting outraged when blacks get killed? I saw an article recently lamenting the lack of media coverage of certain terrorist attacks. The article argued that when Paris, Brussels and other western cities get attacked by terrorists, there’s a momentous outpouring of love. When terrorists bomb Islamic nations (like Irak or Turkey) the show of love and support dwindles. The article begs the question: “Do certain lives matter more?”.
One of the biggest argument for the black lives matter movement is that “black men are killed in significantly disproportionate numbers“. That is factually incorrect. Here’s the tally of people killed by cops this year, as of July 7th, 2016 (By race): 275 Whites, 136 Blacks, 86 Latinos, 41 unknown, 13 Native Americans, 10 Asians. More white people have been killed than any other race thus far in 2016. If you’re thinking “blacks get killed at the highest rate”, you would be wrong. Native Americans do! Either way, other races are affected by this problem. There doesn’t seem to be people talking about the other races when they get killed.
Do certain lives matter more in this case? It certainly appears to be the case. This is great for me and other black people out there. The only issue is, we’re not fixing the real problem. It’s not a racist problem. There is no such thing. It’s more of a “culture of gun” kind of problem. No one is fixing that problem because we’re all focused on trying to fix the race problem.
Third, I don’t think some of us understand what a putrid message we’re sending to black folks when we protest certain killings! We’re essentially saying: “Go ahead and commit crimes if you want. If you do and you get caught, be sure to resist arrest. If you resist arrest and get killed, we’ll protest in your honor and try to get those racist cops in jail and/or fired”. It’s a vile message. All it does is lead to even more killings of black folks, because some of them think it’s acceptable to resist arrest. When they do, they get killed and back to the streets we go. We start protesting until someone gets fired or gets put behind bars. That hasn’t happened yet to my knowledge. I’m tired of going through this vicious never-ending cycle.
So, here is my unsolicited advice on how to not be killed by cops. The title of this article says “simple(r)” because my ways are simpler than protesting. My way is simpler than asking the system to work for you. The system has not worked for poor people for a while now. Maybe it’s time we do something that might help.
My way is simpler because it takes the ball out of the hands of the system and puts it in your hand. With my way, you’re MORE in charge of your destiny. If you don’t want to be in charge of your destiny, this way is not for you. If would rather keep blaming the system and watch it fail you over and over again, then you can stop reading now. If you would like tips on how to survive all your upcoming interactions with cops, then read on. Here are four simple(r) ways to not get killed by cops.
Get an education and/or become rich/successful (legally)
First, when you’re rich/successful, you can get away with crimes (even if you’re black). Ask OJ, Kobe, Adam “Pacman” Jones, Greg Hardy, Ray Lewis, Bill Cosby, Ray Rice, Snoop Dogg, R.Kelly, 50 Cent, Lawrence Taylor, Brandy, Don King…. I can go on & on! Second, getting an education could also help you become a lawmaker. By doing, you could help shape the laws that affect other people like you. You could create laws that help end police brutality for good. Third, getting and education can keep you away from the streets and away from too many interactions with cops.
The time for excuses is over. Whenever you feel like making excuses, think of the story of Madam CJ Walker. Walker was the first self-made black woman millionaire. She achieved this feat in the early 1900’s. Around that time, it was still legal to segregate blacks and whites. Also around that time, women were not allowed to vote. Not just black women, no woman was allowed to vote then. If she could do it then as a black woman (double minority), you can do ANYTHING you put your mind to today. No money for school? These days there are FREE online courses! Can’t do free online courses? There are scholarships and grants and programs to help those who are less privileged. There are people out there who want others to succeed. We all gotta find them.
Don’t commit too many crimes
It’s a simple equation: The more crimes you commit, the more chances you’ll have to come face to face with cops. If you’re black, that only increases your chances of being involved with a racist cop. When that happens, all bets are off. Anything can happen. Case in point: Alton Sterling. Here is a list of all the crimes he committed before he was fatally shot this time! People do not deserve to die for committing the crimes he committed. I repeat: people DO NOT deserve to die for committing the crimes he committed. That’s not the point. When you get arrested as many times as he did, eventually something grievous will happen. It could be a racist cop, an unfortunate situation, or both. Either way, by committing more crimes you increase your chances of having unpleasant interactions with cops.
If you do decide to commit crimes and you end up getting arrested, DO NOT resist arrest
No one should die because they resist an arrest. However, when you’re dealing a racist cop, all bets are off as I said earlier. In those situations, the last thing to do is give him a reason to use more force to apprehend you. If you’re poor, resist arrest and get killed, your family is screwed. The cop has more power because he is an authority figure. I’m not saying this is fair. I’m just informing you of the facts. Sure if people keep protesting and boycotting events, a law might get passed that prevents officers from using lethal force against African American. But that law might not go into effect for years. When it does, it might not become a federal law right away. So in the meantime, a sure(r)/simple(r) way to survive interactions with cops (especially if you’re poor), is to not resist arrest.
Being a cop is much harder than we all think. Not resisting arrest makes life EASIER for both you and the cop! Not resisting arrest is something you can control. Whether a cop will shoot you or not, is a more out of your control.
Speaking of not resisting arrest, check out this picture shown around the internet to perpetuate the “racist system” myth:
Here is the truth about this picture. On the left is how you arrest someone who doesn’t resist arrest (Black or White). On the left is how you arrest someone who resists arrest (Black or White).
Leave the system or find a new/better one
This one isn’t my favorite, but I believe I had to have this as an option. It’s as easy as the other three because it puts you MORE in control of your destiny. If you don’t like where you live, you often have at least two choices: Change the place (see option 1), or leave it. Maybe poor people don’t get killed in Canada. You know those refugees who leave persecution, war, and terrorism in their country? That could be you. You could flee police brutality in the U.S. and move to Canada. Maybe it’s better there.
I’m not trying to downplay or dismiss the issue of “police killings of citizens”. It’s a real issue. It’s an issue
illustrated by the picture below!
Can you wrap your mind around this number? 59 killings in 24 days in the U.S. 55 killings in 24 years in England & Wales. That is outrageous. That, is the real issue. It’s a severe issue that we should deal with. However, if we all keep focusing on the wrong issue (the racism issue), we’ll all miss the point. We will NOT solve the problem As a result, we’ll keep going through the same never-ending cycle: Killings >> Outrage >> FB posts about outrage >> Go back to normal life >> Problem doesn’t get solved >> More killings >> More outrage and so on and so forth. If you care about solving the issue, then stop talking about racism only
. Talk about the issue at hand: POLICE KILLINGS. Solving this issue will help everyone affected by the issue, especially black folks.
There are no certainties in life. Working hard, being disciplined and having integrity don’t guarantee success. Having all three qualities, however, considerably increases your chances of becoming successful. Likewise, following any of these steps does not guarantee that you’ll have good interactions with cops. However, it’ll significantly decrease the chances that you get shot and/or killed by a cop.