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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

ZACH HAMMOND FAMILY: WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE FOR WHITE PEOPLE KILLED BY POLICE?


Zachary Hammond, a white teen, was shot to death over a "drug sting" that involved 10 grams of marijuana. Police appear to imply that Hammond was shot dead because he used his car as a weapon to run officer(s) down.

However, a new private autopsy appears to show that the bullets did not enter Hammond from the front. It appears he was shot from the side instead.


Zachary's case has not made a big splash in national news. Hiding their irritation over this lack of attention fairly badly, this is what the Hammond's had a lawyer say on their behalf: 

It’s sad, but I think the reason is, unfortunately, the media and our government officials have treated the death of an unarmed white teenager differently than they would have if this were a death of an unarmed black teen,” Bland told The Washington Post this week. “The hypocrisy that has been shown toward this is really disconcerting.”


He added: “The issue should never be what is the color of  the victim. The issue should be: Why was an unarmed teen gunned down in a situation where deadly force was not even justified?”
Eric Bland 
Attorney Representing Zach Hammond's Parents


http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/08/06/an-unarmed-white-teen-was-shot-dead-by-police-his-family-asks-where-is-the-outrage/?tid=pm_national_pop_b

Their son is shot down like a dog and this is what they reach for a bottle of white entitlement, guzzle it down, and have a representative start spewing.

As you may have guessed, when I first read this, the vast majority of my sympathy for the Hammond family just leaked out through the soles of my feet and into the ground.  Be aware that when I first read the caption of the article I had plenty of sympathy for a young man killed for nothing. So the ground beneath my feet got soaked to quicksand consistency with the sympathy that poured out of me due to when I read what about poor, white us.

However, some of my empathy came back when I thought a little harder about what is being said here and why. They want their son's death raised up. I understand that. And while the method by which they are complaining about this lack of visibility is the usual black preferential treatment schtick.  I  understand that too. I've lived around white people my entire life. How could I not understand it. 
I just wish the Hammond family's hard-heartedness wasn't so very typical.

But the truth is, if I was white and 90% of my neighbors are white with the 10% that aren't white were usually silent on race or doing a mime-agreement of whatever I say when racial subjects come up, I'd be thinking that white experience is everybody's experience as well. And I, as a white person, would be thinking that black people, brown people, and Native American people are not having white experience because they are doing life wrong, too.

I'd probably be thinking the very same things the Hammond family attorney is expressing here, if my son was dead and I was white. Yes, I'd probably believe my white son's death doesn't matter because those people, those privileged black people, get all the attention just because they are black.

Maybe I'd be tired of black people playing the race card and grabbing all the attention for themselves all the time. 
Maybe I'd be as firmly biased in favor of whites and whiteness while claiming colorblindness. Maybe I'd be executing and reproducing racism without any consciously racist thoughts too. Maybe I'd be the very subject of  a book called "Racism Without Racists" without even knowing it.

Okay. I've exaggerated a little bit here, for effect. But the racial numb skull routine and soft shoe black people bashing that attends it,  has gotten on my last nerve.  And I'm not confused about what the colorblind and #AllLivesMatter people are saying.



I'm not white. Therefore I see race just fine. 'I am colorblind' which can usually be translated into 'I think everybody is white just like me' doesn't even begin to compute for me.

What's more, I think Zachery might still be alive if Zachery's parents and thousands of white parents just like them acknowledged race and understood that #BlackLivesMatter means "Black Lives Matter TOO" because police choices of who to murder are too often based on race.  And if Hammond's parents and thousands of white people just like them cared about people that don't look like them in an empathetic way, they'd notice then understand that police killing any demographic with impunity means MY DEMOGRAPHIC is in danger as well. 


Empathy is a logical, emotion operated, self-interest if you actually stop and think about it.  And the Hammonds, among many others, are not operating it very well. 


According to the Washington Post article quoted above, so far this year 25% of the people shot by police have been black while blacks are only 12 to 13% of the population. That is, 100% more of black people have been shot by police than is representative of the black population in the United States. 

And when you look at unarmed black people the disparity based on race gets even worse.

Since 2015 began, according to an interactive news website run by "The Guardian" 148* unarmed people have been killed by police.  
If race had no impact on who police are shooting,  18 of those 148 unarmed dead via police would be black as blacks are 12% of the population and 102 would be white as white people are 69% of the population.
(*data as of August 8, 2015)


Instead of 18, so far this year  55* unarmed black people
have died at the hands of police. And instead of 102, only 61* unarmed white people died at the hands of police this year.


(*data as of August 8, 2015)


Conclusion 1 :  Three times as many black people are among the unarmed dead as there should be.


Conclusion 2: Whiteness appears to act as a bullet proof vest when out of control, violent police officers are around. 


Conclusion 3: Zach Hammond appears to have been one exceptionally unlucky white male.


Conclusion 4: White people just like Hammond are destined to get unluckier and unluckier for so long as #BlackLivesMatter isn't taken more seriously by a wider range of people. 


The police have had lots of practice moving with impunity because there has been little or no outrage from the white community over black deaths until Trayvon Martin Verdict and the birth of  #BlackLivesMatter two days later.

And post #BlackLivesMatter the white outrage over the deaths of black people is about 10 to 20% of what it will need to be effect change in our criminal justice system as white people
are 69% of our country's population.


So here is one response to the implied question, "WHERE'S THE OUTRAGE FOR MY WHITE PEOPLE LIKE MY SON, WHO HAS BEEN KILLED UNJUSTLY BY POLICE?"
'It’s sad, but I think the reason is, unfortunately, the media and our government officials have treated the death of an unarmed white teenager' in the same invisible manner as any black person who was killed by police prior to #BlackLivesMatter  because Hammond's parents, as represented by Eric Bland, and most of their white neighbors didn't give a damn about police shooting people unjustly when the injustice was based on race.  
DebLynn


The lesson for all the Hammonds out there is kindergarten simple. If you care about injustice everywhere, even when it's based on race, you reduce injustice everywhere.


If Zach Hammonds white parents and white grandparents and all their white neighbors had been concerned about police murdering black people sans consequence for decades,WE WOULD ALL have a check and balances system in place that doesn't involve police departments, prosecutors, and judges circle-jerk investigating themselves after somebody winds up dead over something as  stupid as 10 grams of marijuana that'll probably be legal in all 50 states before 15 years has passed.

When you refuse to wink at injustice happening to people who don't look like you, you decrease the chances that injustice comes knocking on your door.  #BlackLivesMatter supporters who are black, white, asian, latino, native american, middle eastern etc., all of us, figured this out long ago.

So I can tell Zach Hammond's family and their representative, Eric Bland, exactly where the outrage for their son is.  The national outrage over the death of their son is probably located in the very same place as their own outrage for  Yvette Smith, Rekia Boyd, and Natasha McKenna and 99% of  unarmed black people, male or female, killed prior to the Trayvon Martin Verdict and #BlackLivesMatter. 

All that outrage is mixed together, sitting in a red, white, and blue box marked, 
"TSK-TSK IF THEY HAD JUST OBEYED THE LAW THEY'D STILL BE ALIVE."  A box that wouldn't exist without their silent, colorblind complicity newly shoved under the #AllLivesMatter banner.



I suggest that the Hammond family stop playing their race card --even if it is always an ace when you're white-- because I've seen more coverage of their son's death by #BlackLivesMatter activists and black websites than anywhere else.  And the #AllLivesMatter "activists" (ha-ha) that the Hammonds appear to have aligned themselves with are nowhere to be found.

Or did I miss the #AllLivesMatter March for their son? 


The lack of concern shown by the #AllLivesMatter crowd shows "the woke" just one more time that #AllLivesMatter has but one concern. They want to make sure that nobody notices that police are shooting unarmed black people, brown people, and native american people at such high numbers simply because they easily observable to be NOT WHITE.

Race Matters.
Even if #AllLivesMatter does decide to march, protest, or do something other than e-race racial disparities in all these police killings, a decision to ignore what is happening to people that don't look like you is deadly. 

Time will prove us right on this.  You cannot give a group like the police absolute power and not have them become accustomed to using that power at will. They've already started killing white homeless people. It's a matter of time before these policemen reach a little too deeply into the white middle class. White supremacy based or not, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Police will start "feeling themselves" more every single time one of them walks away after something as blatantly wrong as the killing of Eric Garner, Natasha McKenna, Rekia Boyd, Sandra Bland, and Sam DuBose.

But how many middle class white people will have to die per year before the unchecked power of the police is perceived as a problem? 200? 500? 1000? And how many multiple thousands of black people will be dying per year when that happens?  It's likely that the rest of us will always be dying at a rate 10 to 100x the white middle class, right?

It's time for a tough love response to Hammonds parents and everyone like them. 
So, somebody sound the alarm.  White allies have clean up to do in their lane.