11.26.2015

A Crying Shame

http://www.gannett-cdn.com/-mm-/b630d3e106f7887704e8accad2747f225a810ea8/c=141-0-3650-2638&r=x513&c=680x510/local/-/media/2015/11/24/USATODAY/USATODAY/635839990787576262-EPA-USA-CHICAGO-POLICE-SHOOTING-77821974.JPGI don't need to embed the video because you have seen it: 17-year-old Laquan McDonald shot 16 times by a white police officer on the streets of Chicago, the footage of which was recently released on the heels of the officer being charged with first degree murder.  I have only watched the video twice, and have not consumed any other coverage on the original shooting or the subsequent legal proceedings.  But - and if you know me, this is an extraordinary statement for me to make - I don't really need to know anything more about this.  What I saw was a young black man gunned down in a way that you might put down a wild animal.  It doesn't really matter to me what the extenuating circumstances are that led to this, because there is no explanatory context that makes this incident in any way acceptable.

How we treat young black men in this country is becoming shameful.  I am embarrassed, I am angry, and - because I have an infant who is going to be a young black man in this country someday - I am afraid.  I am not sure whether my tears or my prayers are borne of embarrassment, anger, or fear.  But there has been a lot of all of that since this story broke.  May God have mercy on us all.


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