It’s Not Just #blacklivesmatter, #blackbodiesmatter Too

Let’s take a look at the most recent high-profile police-black men encounters:

After he was chokeholded, there seemed to be no urgency in the response from either the officers on the scene or from the EMTs who finally arrived some minutes later to give Eric Garner assistance. (if you haven’t watched the rest of the video after Eric Garner stops saying “I can’t breathe” you should)

Mike Brown’s body was allowed to lie in the street for four-and-a-half hours (two of those hours uncovered, if I’m remembering correctly). And a nurse who was on the scene at the time of the shooting was not allowed to render aid.

Akai Gurley. After being shot and making it down a flight of stairs received no aid because the officers who shot him–instead of assessing the situation and calling for aid–were texting their union reps and maintained radio silence for at least 6 minutes. The only reason that aid was called was because Akai Gurley’s girlfriend was able to get a neighbor to call.

After shooting him a mere two seconds after pulling up on him, the officers who shot Tamir Rice let him lie there for four minutes without any aid. The only reason aid was administered was because an FBI agent in the area came to the scene and rendered aid.

Four situations. Four deaths. Four cases of mistreatment of black bodies.

While we are talking about #blacklivesmatters, we need to expand that to also include #blackbodiesmatter too. The treatment of these black men’s bodies by those in authority/positions of power is shameful and is just another manifestation of this society’s thinking about black people.

Anthony Pinn wrote:

Black bodies are complex signs that represent something both appealing and repulsive for the society in which we dwell.

There’s something to that, I think.

When you look at the history of what is now the U.S., you will see that the first laws regarding black people are anti-miscegenation laws. What does that say?

#blackbodiesmatter. How society treats black bodies matters too.

more later.

 

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