National shame

We are a severely broken society and culture. It doesn’t show up in our GDP or stock market portfolios. We use money as a “leading indicator” in white America. We don’t take into account how we treat people. Ever.

The police beating death of Tyre Nichols will lead us down another path of quick phrases to shout at each other. But we’ve got deeper problems than “Defund the Police” or “Black Lives Matter.”

Other cities nationwide braced for demonstrations, but media outlets reported only scattered and nonviolent protests. Demonstrators at times blocked traffic while they chanted slogans and marched through the streets of New York City, Los Angeles and Portland, Oregon.

We’re more worried about riots and looting than about a young black man being brutally beaten to death by police officers in Memphis. We’re more consumed by our standard white questions, “Well, if he just did what the officers said…” than we are with how we train our police in the first place.

It takes more than 20 minutes after Nichols is beaten and on the pavement before any sort of medical attention is provided, even though two fire department officers arrived on the scene with medical equipment within 10 minutes.(More HERE)

It’s more than police brutality. It’s our low value of human life. We rank human life as to who is “deserving” and who is not. Somehow, those officer and “first responders” who in most cities have the empty phrase “To Protect and Serve” on their vehicles deemed this man unworthy of medical attention.

We won’t mourn as a nation. If there aren’t riots in the streets, we as white people will breathe a sigh of relief and move on with our lives. If there are riots, we will be yelling, “Blue lives matter!” and “Back the blue!” and demand justice in making mass arrests to lock up rioters.

It’s what we do.

We watched Ahmaud Arbery get lynched. We watched George Floyd get the life squeezed out of him. We watched Tyre Nichols get the life beat out of him. For a moment in 2020 we felt… something… what was that?

And then, moved on. Even making sure we invited new ways to slam Black culture and Black lives subtly by using “CRT” and “woke” as derisive terms to tighten up our nice white education.

Back in the 1950s during the “Red Scare” and the McCarthy hearings in the Senate, a fellow senator filing got fed up and asked out loud in a public hearing to Senator McCarthy, “Have you no shame, sir?”

The obvious answer from him in that moment and from us collectively as a nation in this moment is: we have no shame.

There should be national shame. There should be national mourning.

No more quick phrases. No more sighs of relief.

We are broken and in need of deep healing. We are not asking for healing. We are asking for status quo. And we have no shame.

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