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Ways the Media and Police Justify the Killing of Unarmed Black People

Illustration for article titled Ways the Media and Police Justify the Killing of Unarmed Black People

There is a prevailing notion in this country that when an unarmed black person is shot by the police, there must have been a valid reason. In the spirit of fairness, it doesn't even have to be at the hands of the police. Black victims are routinely put on trial in the media with an unspoken but clear suggestion that they deserved what they got. Here is a rundown of some of the reasons unarmed black people deserved to die.

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That toy gun looked real

The hoodie made him look suspicious

He sold marijuana

He smoked marijuana at some point in his life

Marijuana made him crazy

There are pictures of him making "gang signs"

She shoplifted from Wal-Mart

He wore a grill sometimes

He was committing a petty crime

She was intoxicated

He was jaywalking

He was playing loud music

He kinda looked like that other guy

He was a graffiti artist

He accidentally startled a cop

His wallet looked like a gun

She was bipolar and schizophrenic

He had a juvenile record

He touched his waist area

She was double parked and her cell phone looked like a gun

No one is suggesting that black Americans are saints who never commit crimes or do things that call for police action. But I have to say, it sure is funny how many actions become a death sentence when a black person is the one doing them.

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Image by Jim Cooke

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DISCUSSION

The Gaysian

Oh my god, I just had a conversation with an acquaintance of mine today about this.

He said: "Asians, Hispanics, and Arabs go through the same thing, why the focus on Blacks?"

I basically told him off: "I have a mental condition, I've worn hoodies, I've hung around people who've smoked marijuana, I've drank once or twice in public before, but, you know what the main thing is?

Because you and I look stereotypically 'Asian,' we don't face the same struggles that many of my African-American friends face. When people look at most Asians, they think of the 'model minority' and brush it off, thinking 'Asians are studious, obedient, etc. etc...'

But when our African-American peers get looked at, people automatically assume that they are going to break the law, that they will pick a fight. Whenever someone our age in their community dies of any cause, many news channels will put up a picture, and emphasize that they were 'one of the good ones' as if they were all bad people to begin with.

If I was to die today, because I look stereotypically Asian, no one would be actively doubting my credibility or posting pictures of me in compromising situations or actively trying to assassinate my character.

Yes, racism does happen to Arabs, Hispanics, and Asians, but this is not about us, it's about the killing and police brutality against unarmed Black people, and how people actively defend their murderers shamelessly, because they aren't perfect enough, or because they did something people don't agree with. Wearing clothes, smoking marijuana, drink alcohol, petty theft, and a mental health condition does not justify getting executed in a hail of multiple gunshot wounds."

He shut up after that.