Responding to the news that a seventeen-year-old twerp with AR-15 murdered two people at a protest against police brutality in Wisconsin, Trevor Noah of The Daily Show calls it as he sees it:
Some guy decided to drive to Kenosha with his militia buddies to “protect a business,” and apparently ended up shooting three people and killing two. But don’t worry—the business is okay. And let me tell you something: No one drives into a city with guns because they love someone else’s business that much. That’s some bullshit. No one has ever thought, “Oh, it’s my solemn duty to pick up a rifle and protect that T.J.Maxx.” They do it because they’re hoping to shoot someone.
That’s the only reason people like him join these gangs in the first place. And yes, I said it: a gang. Enough with this “militia” bullshit. This isn’t the Battle of Yorktown. It’s a bunch of dudes threatening people with guns. And while what happened with those shootings last night is tragic, what happened afterwards is illuminating. Because it made me wonder, it really made me wonder why some people get shot seven times in the back while other people are treated like human beings and reasoned with and taken into custody with no bullets in their bodies.
How come Jacob Blake was seen as a deadly threat for a theoretical gun that he might have and might try to commit a crime with, but this gunman who was armed and had already shot people, who had shown that he is a threat, was arrested the next day, given full due process of the law, and generally treated like a human being whose life matters?
How did Dylann Roof shoot up a church, James Holmes shoot up a movie theater, and both live to tell about it? Why is it that the police decide that some threats must be extinguished immediately while other threats get the privilege of being defused?
I’m asking these as questions, but I feel like we know the answer. The answer is that the gun doesn’t matter as much as who is holding the gun. Because for some people, Black skin is the most threatening weapon of all.
I truly believe racial inequity is coming to a head in this country. Enough is enough. For the record: Black. Lives. Matter. And law enforcement as an institution, as it is currently practiced in this barbarous nation of ours, is racist as hell. Maybe not individual cops, but the general institution itself. Black people are treated differently by police than whites, and any white people who don’t see it are being deliberately obtuse. And yes, whether they’re conscious of it or not, whether they think of themselves this way or not, they are being racist.
It’s long past time for change. Things must change. And if we don’t find a way to do it peacefully, then I am truly afraid of what the next few years hold. Because people black and white are fed up. And all these redneck dipshits in their soldier-boy cosplay suits with their battlefield weapons might think they’re big and tough, but I have a feeling they’re not going to be as invincible as they imagine themselves to be when the lid finally blows off this pressure cooker.