disastrid said: Are men shot more by police precisely because they are men?
I’m not sure what “because they are men” means. Men tend to be more physically threatening and also more likely to commit violent acts than women. If that’s the reason more men are shot, and I suspect that it is, does that mean they are killed more “because they are men”?
Blacks also tend to be more violent than whites—probably largely because they tend to be poorer than whites more often and because currently blacks have a disproportionally large percentage of teenagers compared to whites and teenagers tend to commit the most violent crime out of any age group. Does this mean that the type of relationship is the same? That blacks are killed more often because they’re more often perceived as threatening due to more often committing violent acts?
In both cases, it’s possible that the rates are inflated further by stereotypes. If both men and blacks tend to commit more violence, then officers will make this assumption about people not prone to violence.
It’s also noteworthy that the rate men commit violent acts when compared to women is much higher than when blacks are compared to whites—so it also makes sense that we’d see a much higher rate for men being killed by police officers than blacks.
I suppose it does if you think men are inherently violent, or you’re predisposed to believe in statistics wholeheartedly.
Are black people more violent than white people? Are you sure that reasons you suggested are the only reasons?
Historically, black people (both men and women) have been perceived as inherently violent, savage, and sexually depraved. White men not so much. We see white men receiving the benefit of the doubt where black men do not. The vilification of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown are perfect examples of the perverse extent of this phenomena.
But the central thing here isn’t so much stereotypes as police conduct in confronting suspects—or anyone on the street.
You and I could have a (racist) assumption that a black man will attack us while walking in a city, but a cop, by the very definition of their job must be more circumspect.
There’s an obvious power differential between a unarmed suspect, no matter how tall or heavy, and an armed cop wearing a bulletproof vest with a precedent of lawful force (and murder) on their side.
I forget now the original post of yours, but in all your posts about evenly examining evidence in regards to Ferguson (so forgive me if that’s where my mind jumped when I saw this), and whether or not Michael Brown is guilty of attacking that officer, the fact remains that the cop shot him way too many times—and fatally, at that—to be justified.
I do think men are probably genetically more prone to violence than women. There’s probably also a cultural aspect, but I think to ignore the biological role is to err.
The reasons that I suggested for black people being more violent than white people are not the only reasons; what you suggested is also something worth considering. However, I think that in modern times there’s a split here. There certainly exist people who demonize blacks; but now there are also a good amount of people who demonize whites. How many people, for example, have been entirely incapable of discussing the mere possibility that Wilson or Zimmerman (whose being labeled “white” confuses me profoundly) could have been justified in their actions and that we should look at the evidence rather than immediately presume their guilt?
Lastly, I’d like to point out that if someone of Brown’s size was seriously charging at someone of Wilson’s size with the intention of attacking them, one good hit could leave Wilson dazed and create the possibility of Brown stealing his weapon (which Wilson claimed Brown had already tried to do). That’s a reasonable outcome of such a scenario, and if the evidence supports Wilson’s account, it seems like we can say there’s reasonable doubt—even if it’s potential that he shot too many times. If you fire at someone who’s charging at you and they keep charging, are you going to stop shooting? It seems unreasonable to expect that they would—“What if I missed?” “What if that didn’t hurt him enough?” “He’s still coming at me. I need to stop him.” all seem like reasonable thoughts that someone might have during that sort of adrenalin rush.
I can agree we shouldn’t ignore the biological aspect. Testosterone can have that affect on people, but I think its also erroneous to ignore the cultural input. If aggression is prioritized as an indicator of masculinity or “maleness,” then its more likely that that “natural” or “biological” energy will be channeled that way.
Whether or not white people are demonized is irrelevant within the broader picture of social power. White people are demonized, how so? Comments of “cracker” or “white devil?” What comes of it? Dirty looks on the street, muggings, being made to feel uncomfortable online? Aside from physical violence I don’t blame black people for harboring resentment. I would too if I were black. In Ferguson, Is there any news on further investigation of the matter? It seems like things are at a standstill, where Officer Wilson is still free in spite of the public’s repeated demands for some kind of repercussion—-or anything at all to indicate that progress is being made.
On the other hand, black people are demonized and there are deadly consequences. History is plenty of evidence in this country. Hell, just the recent few years’ headlines. A man getting shot to death simply looking for help after crashing his car. A woman shot to death just for knocking on a white man’s door.
It could be debated as to if they were racially motivated, but as i intimated, social conditioning is silently absorbed and manifests in ways we’re scarcely aware of. The frequency is indication of something going on.
I agree that we shouldn’t jump to conclusions, but in regards to police brutality, it appears that vast amount of fatal shootings were completely unnecessary. Why didn’t he shoot him in the knees to immobilize him? Cops are trained to carry and fire weapons, which entails, one would think, a level of competence and cool-headedness. As a trained professional, why did emotion (and what emotion?) come over so strong to warrant shooting someone so many times?
A cop’s job implies danger, it should not imply killing.
Combinations we’d never even dreamed of:
Names too long to remember.
Dark chocolate ice cream with raspberry
cheesecake pieces and caramel bonbons,
sweet cream ice cream with bumbleberry compote
and jordan almond fudge chunks.
After rinsing our mouths with toothpaste
and slicking lip gloss over our teeth
like a film of wax, we pounded the two miles
of sweating concrete every Wednesday at eight p.m,
an army of cheap earrings and thin ankles.
We didn’t ask our mothers if we could
shave our legs, but left shreds of bloody
toilet paper like one hundred tiny flames
in the trash can for them to clean up. We wore
our t-shirts low and swinging. We ogled at the brass
chins of boys too distracted to flirt back.
We filched twenties out of our mothers’ purses
and our fathers’ worn leather wallets and blew them every
week on portions of red velvet cheesecake
supreme so big they seemed impossible.
On Sundays, we went back after swimming
in the local pool, clad in the bikinis our mothers
did not allow us to buy. We liked the way
our salted hair swung damp over one shoulder.
We liked the way this left wet spots on our t-shirts,
liked any mark we left on anything.
Workers clad in red aprons scooped ice cream
and poured caramel and bleeding
maraschino cherries over chocolates and
thick sauces, mashing them together with two
silver spoons, turning and twisting this glob
so loudly it made our teeth hurt.
All of us thirteen and shining in our new bodies.
Our hands still pink and bruised from the
chlorine clutching cardboard cups disintegrating
under the waning heat of the Midwest.
None of our mothers were dying of cancer. None
of us worried about our children perishing in motor-boat
crashes or freak accidents at bowling alleys.
The gangly workers used to go down the line
of plastic trays: sweaty gummy worms,
cookie crumbs big as pennies, red and white sprinkles,
dark and white chocolate chips, caramel sauce
glazed over from the air conditioning, and each
time they would ask us if we wanted the topping,
spoons already full and sloping.
We nodded, eyes bright and hungry.
We said yes to everything. We thought
what magnificent women we’d be.
I do not usually reblog on here as I like to keep this Tumblr as ‘my’ space, but this poem is incredibly beautiful, profoundly well-written, and hard to get through because you know there’s a catch coming. The catch is a blow to your stomach and a regret that you were one of those thirteen girls, not in this specific ice cream shop, but in another surely.
I’m sorry I only saw this reply now!
it’s not even selfishness, but just insensitivity I think.
We can acknowledge someone’s flaws without denouncing them completely. And I felt like it was just too soon, and deflecting from the true issue, which was the pernicious longevity and deadliness of depression and manic depression.