Another murder of an unarmed Black person by police officers, who rarely are held accountable for taking the life of a citizen, especially a Black citizen, has happened – again.


As if enslavement of Africans didn’t take enough lives and separate enough families, the nightmare of killings of unarmed Black people continues. Good people everywhere shake their heads and say, “How terrible!” or “I’m not like that.” However, as a White speaker at a recent cultural talk said, “We ARE like that.”

Let’s own up to it and truly do something about violence against non-White people. Too often, we lean on excuses that smack of racism themselves. For example, many have told me that I shouldn’t think of the murders in Atlanta as being anti-Asian. They blame the murders on misogyny, but there were a lot of other kinds of places the murderer could have carried out his violence; he targeted Young’s Asian Massage – not a Black, Latinx, Native American, or White business, but an Asian business.


Yesterday, speaking as a guest of the USC (University of Southern California) Shinso Ito Center for Japanese Religions and Cultures, multi-genre writer Ta-Nehisi Coates stated that US citizens too often practice “fair-weather patriotism,” the kind that lets one enjoy the privileges of being a part of a country while foregoing the hard work on which those privileges were established in the first place.

As he pointed out, the notion that “I’m not a part of this” is absurd because we all are. He also mentioned US citizens who say they are not involved because they weren’t in the US when slavery happened. The point is not to run to home base, but to realize that being a US citizen comes with responsibilities. He noted that today US citizens are taxed on treaties made years ago and that we have a collective responsibility as Americans to own the matters that history has wrought.

3 Ta-Nehisi Coates

While it’s challenging to get statistics on police violence from governmental sources, community organizations estimate that, in an eight-month period in 2020, nearly 170 Black people were killed by police. Excavating the roots of that violence in this country goes back to 1619.

As Coates said yesterday, “I am taxed for roads I will never drive on.”

Violence against non-White individuals from the birth of this nation into our future produces a tax that we all must pay, out of our pockets and/or out of our souls.

Now, Daunte Wright is dead. He was twenty years old.

The White woman who murdered him has been charged with second-degree manslaughter. She says she made a mistake.

She’s been a police officer for nearly three decades and is a training officer. Her expertise and the fact that she is training others to be police officers suggests that making a mistake is unlikely in her case (if it is likely, we all ought to worry about what that means for newly trained police officers under the tutelage of others like Wright’s murderer, Kim Potter).

One of the Wright’s family’s attorneys, Benjamin Crump, stated to CNN that the shooting was not an accident.

“This was an intentional, deliberate and unlawful use of force,” Crump’s statement read. “Driving while Black continues to result in a death sentence. A 26-year veteran of the force knows the difference between a Taser and a firearm.” (4)



1 – “racism is a visceral experience, that it dislodges brains, blocks airways, rips muscle, extracts organs, cracks bones, breaks teeth. By Ta-Nehisi Coates” by Quaries Official is licensed with CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit Web. Downloaded on April 14, 2021 @

2 – “Family Dynamics.” by Neil. Moralee is licensed with CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit Web. Downloaded on April 14, 2021 @

3 – “coates2” by Oregon State University is licensed with CC BY-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit Web. Downloaded on April 14, 2021 @

4 – Hanna, Jason; Parks, Brad, Holcombe, Madeline. “Officer charged with 2nd-degree manslaughter in Daunte Wright killing.” CNN, 14 Apr 2021. Web. Downloaded April 14, 2021 @

5 – “Solidarity” by Marcela McGreal is licensed with CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit Web. Downloaded on April 14, 2021 @


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