Through My White Man’s Eyes

This week has been a eye opener in a year that has been eye opening. Covid 19 was blown of the map and reduced to second class status when a Minneapolis White Cop Derek Chauvin murdered a black man George Floyd and murder it was. Officer Chauvin has been charged with murder in the 3rd degree and manslaughter. The prosecution undoubtably knew that a first degree charge would never stick thus going for the 3rd. Regardless it was a terrible crime and the officers should be charged.

I can remember my grandmother always telling me when I was a kid to try to walk in another man’s shoes and I have to this day always tried to do that. I have no idea what it would be like to walk in a black man’s shoes but I have thought and tried to see what it would be like and I would love to be granted that wish where I could step in his shoes and experience what it would be like so I could fully understand but I can’t, I’m just a white man living in a white man’s world thus I try to understand with my white man’s eyes. Looking through my white man’s eyes I saw the fire hoses and police dogs being turned on black folk in the 60’s just because they wanted the same rights as white people had. Looking throught my white man’s eyes I saw the riots in Watt’s and the Rodney King riots of 1992 both of which were brought on by the police.

Looking through my white man’s eyes I saw Freddie Grey take his last ride in a Baltimore police van.

Through my white man’s eyes I watched a Oklahoma jury in Find white Tulsa police officer Betty Jo Shelby not guilty of first-degree manslaughter in the 2016 death of Terence Crutcher, 40, who was shot shortly after Shelby arrived to find Crutcher’s SUV stopped in the middle of the road. Shelby testified that she was afraid because Crutcher didn’t obey her commands and appeared to reach inside his vehicle. Prosecutors told jurors that Shelby over-reacted, noting that videos from a patrol car dashboard and a police helicopter showed Crutcher had his hands in the air and did not have a weapon.

Throught my white man’s eyes I watched Eric Garner, die in July 2014 in New York City after a white officer placed him in a chokehold during an arrest for selling loose cigarettes. A grand jury declined to indict that officer, or any others involved in the arrest.

Through my white man’s eyes I saw police office Michael Slager of North Charleston stop Walter Scott for a broken brake light. Slager claimed he opened fire — five of his eight bullets hit Scott — because he felt threatened after the motorist tried to take his stun gun during a struggle. A bystanderlater appeared and captured the encounter on video and the judge found that Slager had obstructed justice by lying to investigators. Micheal executed Walter Scott. Slager, 36, is one of the few U.S. police officers in recent years to receive prison time for an on-duty shooting.

The Innocence Project is a organization I believe in strongly with all my heart. It’s a legal organization that is committed to exonerating individuals who it claims have been wrongly convicted  through the use of DNA testing and to reforming the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice and to say the least it has opened my eyes to the injustice that still exsist in this country. My heart breaks every time I read a story or see a video of the injustice of 30 years being in jail for a crime you did not commit and yes most of these people who lives have been taken away from them are predominately of color who have been screwed by white cops, judges, prosecutors and in many cases have had the proof of innocence up. Looking through my white man’s eyes, I don’t understand the fear of being stopped by a cop. I have been stopped by police many times and never once thought my life could be in danger.

Jason Isbell who is one of the best songwriters and artist of today’s music wrote a song called “White Man’s World”. I admit, I thought great, another white guilt song. After listing to it over and over I hear it as a lament – a lament of being a part of a broken system and seriously what’s so bad about feeling guilt for injustice? Guilt can motivate people to change. Acknowledging it is better than denying it or celebrating it.

There will always be things I don’t understand like how ransacking a Target and Auto Zone and destroying your city somehow makes up for injustice. My blood boils when I see that and it defeats the purpose of the real problem and makes people angrier. Violence never solves anything.

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