Listen to this guy. His name is Kellon Nixon. I’ve never met him, but he is a voice of Dallas, and except for some stuff I’ll talk about in a minute, I share his sentiments.
I was with Kellon Nixon until he went into the Christian nation stuff. That’s not the answer any more than we need to be a Muslim nation or a Jewish nation. He was more on target about the economics of modern society, and how we need to value lives over property. Watch his son towards the end. When Kellon starts talking about hypocrisy and how we need to be a Christian nation, his son Elijah yawns and walks away. I was like, “Totally with you brother. I’m getting bored too,” but everything else Kellon Nixon was saying that wasn’t spiritually charged, I’m in agreement. This sets us back. Senseless violence is not the answer. This is not about black vs white. We’re all one race. The human race. I like this guy. I really like this guy. We’d disagree on where his god was when the crap went down. I say his god was inside his head. He’d say his god was overseeing all of this and that it’s part of His mysterious plan. Perhaps he’d even give it to God that Kellon and Elijah got out of there alive. It wasn’t his quick thinking or listening to the policeman by his side or is own feet. He’d thank god with humility and not take the credit. That’s what he believes in. More power to him. Whatever.
The answer isn’t prayer cuz that demonstrably does nothing of substance, but the protest itself was peaceful. The rally was peaceful. The march was peaceful. According to Kellon Nixon anyway, and I have no reason to doubt him in this instance. Even the occasional fool shouting F the police was still peaceful. It’s when someone blocks away with a sniper rifle decided to play god himself, that’s when things went sour and that’s not the fault of the peaceful protest, but there will be people who see it differently. Violence isn’t the answer. Violence is the problem, and be we black or white or orange or color blind, we have to face this problem and find real solutions. Cuz we’re rapidly running out of cities NOT in the news recently over failed violent acts.
In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, let me catch you up. Last month I was blogging in here about Christina Grimmie and the gay bar in Florida, and how senseless violence is senseless and what do we do to cope with it, but there’s a lot more violence going on in America today in Louisiana and Minnesota and just all over. There are instances of police brutality which are being captured on smartphones which indicates to me this violence has been going on a long time. We’ve known this from statistics and anecdotal evidence, but we haven’t had evidence so shocking and incontrovertible. Those in positions of power can no longer control the narrative, so long as every single one of us now has the ability to shine a light on corruption and racism.
Last Thursday there was a rally and a march here in Dallas organized by people behind Black Lives Matter. The sentiment means different things to different people, but how I take it is that all lives matter, but right now, black lives are currently under fire and have been for some time. Most recent instances, in Louisiana and Minnesota, have led people around the country to take to the streets and demonstrate their displeasure with how police brutality has gotten out of hand.
George Orwell once remarked “imagine a boot in the face of humanity forever.” Well, that’s what’s been going on with black people for centuries, in one way or another. Sometimes the boot changes feet, but black people are constantly being reminded that some white people want them to forever be second rate citizens. This isn’t just about race though, cuz I’m white and I empathize more with blacks in my community than whites and the reason is more about finances and economics. I’m not rich by any stretch of the imagination. I have pretty much given up trying to figure out how to be financially solvent. I’m just trying to survive nowadays. I’m not remotely financially lucrative, so I find myself in the lower middle class and there’s way more black people down here with me than there are white people. There’s more hispanics too. I allegedly have White Privilege in that when a cop pulls me over or questions me, I don’t immediately fear for my safety. I would beg to differ. However evidence can be cited which indicates I am given better treatment than I would be if my skin were darker.
Kelon Nixon has probably had “The Talk” with his son, or maybe that day is coming, when he sets Elijah down and tells him how to behave when a policeman stops him in the street. Know your rights. Talk clearly and calmly. Do not raise your voice. Keep your hands where they can see you. Do not talk back. Be respectful. I don’t remember my father having that talk with me. Some of this stuff I just kinda know, but I’ve had run ins with police in my youth where I did talk back, and I was an asshole, and you know what? I’m still here. I didn’t get shot in the head. I didn’t even get arrested. Knock on wood. Cuz when I talked back, I think the cops knew it was just bravado. Maybe I was trying to impress a lady. Maybe I had a drink or two. Maybe I was just young and stupid, but they knew it wasn’t going to escalate cuz I was not worth their time. I was a small fish that they threw back in the water. I’m still about as dangerous to a cop as a saltine cracker. Black men though are sometimes intimidating. Maybe that’s what’s going on here. Or maybe this is “shirts vs skins” we’re looking at. Maybe it’s that they’re the opposing team. A different tribe. However, that doesn’t hold up when the cop is a black guy too, so it’s much more complicated than we want it to be.
Michael Shermer talked some years ago about confirmation bias and patternicity, how we human beings seem to be hard coded to find patterns even when they aren’t there. It’s very easy to see our own skin color, look at people with different skin colors, and go we’re the good guys they must be the bad guys. It’s very seductive to want it to be that easy. It’s not.
The guy who shot dozens of people and killed many cops last Thursday, his name was Micah Xavier Johnson. He was a black man. He served in the army for a year, stationed part of that time in Afghanistan. He had a social media presence online where he had “liked” many pages and people who supported Black Lives Matter, Black Panthers, and various Muslim groups. I can’t confirm if Johnson was himself a Muslim, but he seemed to have sympathized with those views. Reportedly the night he died, the Dallas Police Department cornered him in El Centro College on the corner of Lamar and Commerce near a parking garage where he was suspected of shooting into a crowd of people. It was reported by the police that Johnson told cops that he hates them. Especially white cops, and he wants to kill them. They attempted negotiations reportedly and when other less violent options had been exhausted, they reportedly wheeled a robot armed with a bomb into Johnson’s vicinity and detonated it, killing him. That’s the “official story.” Notice my use of “alleged” and “reportedly” and stuff like that. This is the cop’s official story as I currently understand it. New evidence may come to light, but this will never come to trial, cuz instead of using a flash bang grenade or tear gas, they just blew him up with a robot bomb. We will never know his side of the story. And maybe the cop’s side of the story is enough. Maybe we should just believe Chief Brown of the DPD. He has no reason to lie, right? Why doubt him? It’s so easy to want that to be the pattern. I want it to be that simple.
No justice, no peace.
One more thing. We live in the future now. Using a robot to kill an assailant? That’s scifi stuff, but it happened in my home town last Thursday. And I learned about it on a cellphone, which is what Captain Kirk was using forty years ago in reruns I saw as a child. Only, my Star Trek Communicator is better than Kirk’s was. I can play games on it.