Living while black: the quickest way to die

By Andrew Henry

jemel
A supporter holds a picture of Jemel Roberson outside of the Midlothian Police Department in Midlothian, Ill., onFriday, Nov. 16, 2018. They demand the firing of the officer who fatally shot 26-year-old Jemel Roberson, who was detaining a suspect outside a Robbins bar. Photo courtesy of Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Black people, especially men, are dangerous. Before you stop reading, allow me to explain. How could I, a black man living in America, possibly make such a bold, racist claim?

Let me give a few examples.

Trayvon Martin was a young black man.

Martin was walking through a suburban neighborhood in Florida one night when a neighborhood watchman, who was told by police to stop following him, shot him dead and served no jail time for it. Martin was wearing a hoodie and carrying a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea.

Hoodies, Skittles, and tea are not inherently dangerous. There is only one logical reason for Martin’s death: as a black man, he was too dangerous to live.

If that isn’t convincing enough, then what about Eric Garner? Garner was selling cigarettes on a street corner in New York City. Although deadly, cigarettes are not considered a lethal weapon.

Nevertheless, while Garner was apprehended, one of the officers put him in an illegal choke hold until he could no longer utter the words “I can’t breathe.”

Selling untaxed cigarettes is illegal, but I am unaware of any place where selling them would be an offense punishable by death.

The only logical explanation? Again, he was a dangerous black man, so he had to die.

Still unconvinced? Jemel Roberson was a legally armed black man working as a bouncer at Manny’s Blue Room Lounge in Chicago, when around 4 a.m on the night he was working, a man entered the bar and opened fire.

Roberson subdued him, and held him until the police arrived. According to the Chicago Tribune, Roberson’s hat read “SECURITY” across the top.

The witnesses said the cop gave no verbal commands before shooting and killing Roberson.

Wayne Lapierre, the CEO of the National Rifle Association, once said, “the only thing that will stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”

This good guy had a gun. Jemel Roberson did indeed stop the bad guy with a gun. Even as patrons of the club told the officer that Roberson was a security guard, the police officer still killed him.

I guess the good guy with a gun rhetoric only applies if the good guy with a gun is not black. An unarmed black man is dangerous enough. Give him a gun and he deserves death.

Period.

Need another example? Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford, Jr. was at Riverchase Galleria Mall in Hoover, Ala. on Black Friday this year when shots rang out.

After pulling out his legal firearm, Fitzgerald began waving people to safety. After a police officer came to the scene and saw an armed black man, he shot him dead, without so much as a second thought.

The police officer was praised a hero, while Bradford was painted as a mass shooter. The police department involved, after heavy public pressure, redacted their statement portraying Bradford as the shooter, finally admitted that the actual suspect was still at large.

I can only imagine one reason that a “good guy with a gun” would have been murdered within seconds by police.

Black people, specifically black men, are dangerous.

If black people aren’t dangerous, then why do we make up only 13.4 percent of the U.S. population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 data, but 30 percent of the prison population, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons report of the same year?

Also, why does FBI data indicate that black people made up 31 percent of people killed by police in the U.S. when, once again, we only make up 13.4% of the entire population? It doesn’t proportionately make sense, so there is truly only one logical explanation: black people are dangerous.

Contact Andrew Henry at communitarian@mail.dccc.edu