Katja Liebing/Courier Protest in Pasadena after a black man died at the hands of police on Friday, September 30, 2016
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No one likes it when someone keeps giving them worn out, B.S. excuses that are either lies or alter the actual truth of the matter. But it seems like when it comes to the life of Philando Castile and so many other Black men and women before him, the excuses from the judicial system are endless.

Castile’s murderer, although not convicted— and many others in law enforcement before him, got away with the crime and once again add to the ongoing narrative that no matter what cops do in this country, it is not to protect and serve Black lives but only to protect and serve their fellow cops with bloodstained hands.

And sadly, it doesn’t stop at a father killed in front of his daughter. Last week, Seattle police shot and killed Charleena Lyles, who was a pregnant mother, protecting her two children from what she thought was a burglar in her home. A concerned mother calls the police for protection, and instead ends up dead, leaving her kids without their mom.

Time after time, excuses are made in order to justify the actions of criminal cops, criminal by action but excused by the system.

For Castile, it was reaching for his pocket and the “what if’s” of if he could have harmed the cop in the process. Again, the cop’s life is brought up, in that they were afraid to lose their life, not even acknowledging the deadly weapons and force they hold as a dark privilege over the citizens they arrest.

There is also immense contradictions.

Castile notified the officer about the gun he carried and the license he had to do so. One would think that the NRA would be up in arms over this tragic incident, but instead, silence. A silence always heard when constitutional matters involve Black people.  

In the grand scheme of things, the upper hand is given to the cops and their ridiculous logic for being “in fear for their lives”. Take Castile’s murderer, who said the smell of marijuana in the car made him believe that Castile didn’t care about his daughter’s life and was dangerous for the cop’s life.

But in the end, it’s safe to say that a little girl would be in more danger as bullets are fired at her dad (which could have easily hit her, as well), but instead pair the criminalization of marijuana, with the criminalization and vilifying of Black men and women.

This is where two important issues lie.

For one, it is that America’s judicial system does not see Black men, women and children as citizens, but rather as menaces to society. And second, because of this, the judicial system was never meant to protect Black lives since the corrupt system was not built that way. At that point, it is not even excuses, it is blatant racism that has been stewing in this country since slavery.

Again, this in no way is a valid excuse for these murders, if anything it should be a driving factor for non Black people, White, Latino, Asian, etc. to stop with the b.s “justifications” for these deaths, and offer support in this resistance against a corrupt system. This goes heavily on non black people of color, who have rampant and toxic anti-blackness in their communities, including erasing the struggles of Black people and equating it with their own struggles.

It is time to throw these harmful excuses out the window and actually listen to Black people in America, and believe that their painful experiences are valid, and use it as drive to seek justice for the slain, for the human lives lost, whether they were publicized or forgotten.

We have to protect Black men, women and children because they do not deserve to have their lives taken away and become just another hashtag. The time is overdue to recognize their humanity and uproot the racism within this unjust judicial system.

About Reina Esparza

Reina Esparza is the Managing Editor at the Courier. She is majoring in Journalism, with her career goal being a writer for a magazine writing feature stories. She also loves writing outside of a journalistic sense, be it poetry or prose, and hopes to write a book (or many) someday. In whatever free time she has she can be found attempting to read (and finish) her stack of books, being amused by Twitter, and spending time with her friends.

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