unarmed black man, was shot to death like a dog by the Tulsa police
last Friday. But in America, not even dogs are treated the way black
people are these days.
Sept. 16, Crutcher, 40, was on the road with his stranded SUV. After
police responded to a 911 call concerning his car, Crutcher was
claimed he was armed, but there was no weapon. Someone in the
helicopter taking the video is even heard saying, “That looks
like a bad dude too. He might be on something.”
officer, Tyler Turnbough, tasered the poor man, while the officer who
took his life, Betty Shelby (who should be in jail), said Crutcher
was not cooperating with police. And yet the video shows he had his
man needed help, and yet he found himself in a great deal of trouble
not of his own doing. They shot him, and then they left him there on
the ground — like a dog, or worse than a dog — the way
they always leave us when they seek to take us out of this world.
police chief Chuck Jordan called the video
and asked the Justice Department to review the case. And we know how
that usually turns out.
had these cops put down a dog the way they killed Terence Crutcher,
there would be national outrage and a call for these officers’
heads on a platter. Actually, there wouldn’t have been time for
that, because those cops — most certainly Officer Shelby —
would have been
jail. Because Americans love their dogs, but do not love black
people. And certainly, many of the Blue Lives Matter, White Lives
Matter and All Lives Matter crowd would be participating on the
frontlines of the protests, because while they believe black people
are animals, dogs are their best friends.
loves dogs. Dogs are very helpful and loving pets that provide
companionship. Dogs were also used to hunt down slaves in this
country, and during Jim Crow, the police unleashed dogs on protesters
to tear into their flesh. That is, two-legged dogs, as
them, sicked four-legged dogs on peaceful civil rights protesters. So
they served a useful purpose.
let us not forget about the city of Tulsa, the place where Terence
was the home of
the thriving African-American community of Greenwood. On May 31,
1921, a white mob decimated Tulsa’s black community on the
ground, while staging an aerial bombing, burning down nearly every
last home and business. Hundreds were lynched, and thousands were
left homeless. Tulsa still has not come to terms with its sins —
the wholesale slaughter of its black residents 95 years ago —
and it remains the single largest massacre of black people in the
is a society conditioned to accept, even embrace the genocide of
black people. Could anyone imagine the slaughter of hundreds of dogs?
Of course not. But black people are another story. After all, we are
dangerous criminals and thugs, so they tell us.
took us out on the slave plantation with reckless abandon and with
the protection of the law, and today it is no different. They tell us
we’re always up to something, unworthy of empathy, even our
babies. Besides, no one understands the challenges police officers
face on a daily basis, so they say.
with no police officers in jail for murdering Mr. Crutcher, we must
ask what it would take to hold cops accountable for taking our lives.
This is a nation that will suspend a black football player for
protesting racist police violence before it suspends a cop —
much less arrests or indicts her — for the murder of a black
man, woman or child.
you ask how Terence Crutcher — like so many other black souls —
can meet such a horrible fate without any consequences, remember that
while dogs are “just like people,” black folks are
regarded as less than human.
always were, and no video will change that.
This commentary originally appeared in The Grio