Okay, y’all. I wanted to avoid writing about this, because I’m tired of writing about black people killed by police. Seriously you all, I AM TIRED OF THIS. This is not my idea of a good time. I have a birthday coming up, and I’d rather be playing video games than dissecting the hypothetical scenarios of my improbable demise at the hands of police, which, judging by the headlines, seem a bit more likely by the day.
What I’m saying is, the story of Botham Shem Jean’s killing by Amber Guyger in Dallas has me shook.
Like Jean, I’m known in my community as a Christian, and specifically as a worship leader. Like Jean, I am somewhat larger and physically imposing (although not in great shape like he was). Like Jean, I live in what is a fairly exclusive apartment complex, made possible because of work I do in and among a suburban locale, where even though there is a modicum of diversity, most of the seats of power are filled by white people. Also like Dallas, the police department of my home city is also helmed by a black woman, which might give off a more progressive impression than what the truth should warrant.
Anyway, the shooting — as tragic as it is — is not the thing that completely burns me up.
And that fact — all by itself — is all kinds of f***ed up, because all by itself, that morally reprehensible and societally-aberrant act of unnecessary lethal state-sanctioned violence should make me furious. I should be marching in the streets right now. I should be dropping f-bombs in my sermon, stopping traffic on the highway, interrupting dinners of whoever is complicit in this nonsense in order to get through to people that THIS KIND OF THING IS NOT OKAY AND IT KEEPS HAPPENING.