Now that the cops have killed another child, we have the usual divided response.
You have a full half of the country that leaps to the child’s defense, no matter what he’s a accused of or what he’s actually done.
You have another full half of the country who – and it bears mentioning here that the kid, 13 year-old Tyre King of Columbus, Ohio, was Black – that rush in with the police’s official justification for the murder; the boy had allegedly pointed a BB gun at a cop, and seemingly celebrate the child’s death as if their favorite team had won.
Almost no one ever seems to feel simple, genuine sympathy. Each death at the hands of law enforcement, especially as of late, has become politicized to prove a point that one would imagine is more important even than life and that is, of course, that I’m right and you’re wrong.
The eagerness with which police reach for guns to use to shoot Black bodies makes it almost seem like the ability to do just that is part of the reason that they signed up for the job.
Also, one has to wonder if it’s instinctual or a trained response which causes them to overkill – young Tyre was shot “multiple” times – Black people once they have us in their scopes because a dead Black can always be justified but a survivor stands a chance at a lawsuit.
One of the more disheartening things to read about young Mr. King was that he was active in so many sports; football, hockey, soccer and gymnastics.
That’s also one of the main things which should make us doubt the “official” report.
If we were to take the police at their word, the young Mr. King and a couple of friends were actively robbing people with said a BB gun when the police fell upon them, causing them to run, but not before young Tyre turned to face a cop with the BB gun pointed in that cop’s direction.
As preposterous as this sounds, it is, admittedly, possible.
However, if young Mr. King were actually a member of any sports teams as opposed to just being “active”, then it’s outright impossible.
The amount of privilege that young athletes accumulate before they try doing dumb shit like armed robbery is never unless they’re on a superstar level, and rarely before they’re in college.
I mean sure, you can read books like Friday Night Lights and know that certain teams are so good that they behave with an arrogant swagger, but even the teams chronicled in that book were high school-level teams and teams, importantly, that were always in the thick of things for a state title.
If you happen to be a team before you’re in high school however, the team consumes you. Ask any young athlete or if you were one, remember how you were. All you could think about was your sport and your school work. Your coaches were your Gods. And you even believed all that shit they said about each and every one of your actions being a reflection on your team and how you had to be preternaturally careful not to do anything that would “let your teammates down.”
Against that background it only makes sense that athletes like Colin Kaepernick would be the ones to invoke bold political symbolism as a criticism of injustices.
They see America as a team.
And anyone that doesn’t mourn the loss of a teammate should turn in his fucking jersey.