Philando Castile lost his life thanks to a reckless bullet from a trigger happy cop, but that isn’t even the worst of it. Millions of people on various social media sites got to watch his life fade away via Facebook Live. There is nothing that can be done about death; there is something that can be done for the people are alive in it’s aftermath.
Jeronimo Yanez, the officer who shot and killed Philando Castile, recently was acquitted of second degree murder charges Friday. The natural reaction to this is justified given that if this situation was reversed and a black cop shot a white man, the trial would have been a mere few days. I’m pretty people will tell me not to bring race into this, but the election of Trump last year and the shooting of black males by police officers over the past few years says that race is everything these days.
The deaths of Castile, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice and countless others should inspire people to action rather than to grief. If every shooting meant never going outside and keeping to a self-imposed curfew, the citizens of Chicago (the city I live in) would turn this city into a ghost town. In short, you gotta live and not in fear and not in fear of dying. Life is going to move on. Our culture must move on; not to forget, but to continue the fight.
We should eliminate the respectability politics, the eye-for-an-eye mentality that continues to destroy our generation and generations to come and take care of our mental health. Getting stressed, upset or paranoid to the point where you can’t function as a human being can make for a miserable existence. If you need a detox from Trump, from police shootings (and the acquitting of those who did the shooting), turn off everything and get some sleep, or read or exercise. I admit that my life is in turmoil these days and I have let myself go physically to the point where I’m pretty sure I look like I should go in for a pre-natal appointment.
I’ll have more to say on this in part two as I plan to make this a series of pieces.