This guy summed it up best:
Whenever you see a name you don't know trending and you already know what happened–that's not a problem. That's an epidemic. #AlfredOlango
— Paul Bae (@MrPaulBae) September 28, 2016
And we, dwellers in a time beyond the information age, living in what can only be described as some noun-based combination of the “i” age and the “e” age, can likely find footage of whoever’s unknown name became a hashtag and a trend.
I remember when the Rodney King beating became such a big thing, not because people were shocked to see that the police could beat a defenseless man so savagely, but to have the whole thing on video was a nuance.
Older Black people immediately posited that if all of history had been similarly documented, both the amount and the severity of the incidents would be unviewable.
Of course, the irony is that it was the actual footage of the Civil Rights Movement that gets credited as being the impetus behind getting Middle America, that section of the country with direct ties to neither North or South, to mobilize behind the notion that nobody should be treated that badly, not even Black people most of whom, it must be added, were also fellow Americans.
And forgive me for coming across as a conspiracy-obsessed broken record, but I was never really comfortable with all the increased attention placed on police-initiated shootings of Black people, armed or otherwise.
I mean, aside from having read a great article, the complete point of which has since been lost on me but I’ll try to summarize by saying that it suggested that a repressive State needs these acts to keep a population in a constant state of anxiety and thinking that their battle should be between those that support the police and those that oppose them while the real instigators, the rich, continue to profit obscenely laughing all the way, I’m starting to think that something else is at play here.
I myself posted this dumb shit as a response to Alfred Olango, the mentally unstable San Diego, California man armed with only an e-cigarette that was murdered at the hands of police yesterday:
#AlfredOlango can we AT LEAST get a week till the next one, y'all? then after that, 10 days? then after that a month?
— Dickie Bhee (@DickieBhee) September 28, 2016
But hey, what can I say?
Sometimes our mistakes lead to enlightenment. Because at first I thought I was just being clever but then I started to see that I was already being guided toward thinking what I imagine is the goal of all this oversaturation of coverage.
Notice, I didn’t call for an immediate cease and desist?
That’s because somewhere inside of me, I must not think it’s possible when, of course, in reality, nothing is further from the truth.
The police could simply stop any time they wanted to.
Knowing both that and the fact that they haven’t leads me to understand that they simply won’t.
And this is troubling not only because it brings into glaring reframe my powerlessness and the powerlessness of others like me who claim we’d like to see it stop, but also because continuing to complain about it is like screaming at a brick wall or writing to Santa Claus.
After a while, you begin to realize that it’s pointless.
So now I’m starting to believe that the reason the media is giving so much coverage to the shootings of Black people, armed or otherwise, is precisely because they want me to think that complaining about it is pointless.
Then, of course, they expect me to get bored since these killings, like death and taxes, will seem inevitable and to turn again to Kim Kardashian or whoever will have replaced her by then as what’s really important in the news.