Black people in the United Sates made up 24 percent of the 1,029 police killings in 2019, despite only contributing 13 percent to the entire population of the country. Black people are three times more likely to be killed by police than white people, while simultaneously being statistically less likely of being armed with a weapon.
8 of the 100 largest police departments in the United States killed black men at a higher clip than the U.S. murder rate in 2018. The most astonishing statistic though, 99% of police killings from 2013-19 have resulted in officers not being charged with crimes.
Would I have cared about any of this if LeBron and Giannis were strapping up for Game 5 of the Finals tonight? Would I care that Derek Chauvin of the Minneapolis Police Department murdered George Floyd by compression of his neck and back if the Braves had a double-header with the Phillies today?
I could patronize my readers, pat my own ego and give you an explanation about how I would’ve, but the answer is no. I absolutely wouldn’t have, and I’ll go out on a limb here and say most of the young men in my demographic wouldn’t have either.
Quarantine has been a tough time for the world, but it has provided us a world with less distractions. White Americans pack stadiums across the country every year, pay hundreds of dollars for tickets to see predominately African American teams play a game both the player and viewer love. All for the few hours of escaping reality. Yet, they vilify their brothers. Even fear them when sharing the sidewalk when they return to the real world the very next day.
It starts with every single one of us, but White America needs to stand up and use our voice now more than ever. It is clear that we can make a difference if we band together with our local black communities and use our strength to fight for something bigger than ourselves. To help people who don’t feel protected by men & women who swore to keep a watchful eye over their communities, not leave their streets running with blood.
So, when the NBA re-tips in July, or if Major League Baseball ever figures out how to pay their players, remember, some things are bigger than boy’s games.
Statistics provided by https://mappingpoliceviolence.org/
Donations can be made to the George Floyd Memorial Fund here