We are doing things differently for this week’s Missing in Action roundup. We must. There’s something nefarious that has been obvious for too long, and our team needs to speak out. What we know is that terror suspects like Dylan Roof and Ahmad Rahami have been taken alive by authorities, even after posing an immediate threat, shooting at police (in Rahami’s case). What’s the disparity? Skin color.
There is a stark difference between being black in America and being anyone else – race, creed or color – when it comes to application of the law. Unarmed African American men (and women like Sandra Bland) have lost their lives under the most specious of circumstances. Why should black Americans’ right to life be devalued? Why should these citizens encounter civil rights violations that place them below terror suspects? It seems unthinkable. But we can’t hide from the truth. The evidence is in Chicago, Charlotte, St. Louis, New York and anywhere else black lives are taken.
In spite of all the tragedy, the feelings of hopelessness and fear and outrage, there are many people and organizations taking positive steps toward change. We want to share some of those with you, and encourage you to share this post. This conversation – and these type of actions – MUST continue.
- Comedian Daniel Weingarten posted a video on his Facebook page that speaks for many white Americans who feel strongly that #BlackLivesMatter. He covers a lot in the 3 minute and 26 second stream, prompted by the shooting death of Terence Crutcher in Oklahoma earlier this week. He shuts down the weak rhetoric from those who say no one protests so-called “black on black murders.” He explains why Colin Kaepernick is doing important work and why we as a nation must do better. There’s no alternative. This really is must-see TV.
- The NBA is showing its collective conscience and its desire to be an agent of change. This week the league issued a memo to players saying they plan to expand upon the steps many individual players have already taken to help and support their communities in light of the violence epidemic. They are the only professional sports organization to commit in writing on such a large scale.
- Seattle Seahawks Cornerback Richard Sherman used a press conference this week to speak out about the shootings in Oklahoma and North Carolina. Without naming names, he expressed frustration with those who are against Colin Kaepernick taking a knee during the National Anthem, saying “people are still missing the point.” Indeed, there was far more publicized outrage over Kaepernick’s silent protest than there was for Terence Crutcher, shot by a police officer while unarmed with his hands in the air. Is the media partially to blame for this double standard? Maybe. And we thank Sherman for challenging journalists to tell the whole truth.
- In the “news we never thought we’d share” bucket, Glenn Beck wrote something decent and human earlier this month. Put his general brand of intolerance and bullshit aside for a minute, click the hyperlink and just read these important observations. It was hard for us too, but we did it. You should too. As Beck observed, “We are a country in trouble, and we have only one way out: reconciliation.” We must work together to resolve this crisis. That’s really the point, isn’t it? People from all sides, all party lines, all races, all genders simply have to come together, listen and save lives.
For the record, this site’s namesake will no longer be standing for the National Anthem until the problem of African American extra-judicial killing is ended. She has purchased a #BlackLivesMatter t-shirt and will wear it to meetings with local legislators. And the BeckySarwate.com Team will continue to write about the variety of issues and voices involved in this rampant social injustice. It’s the very least we can do.