Friday, December 12, 2014

I can't breathe

I decided this week to follow up my previous comic on the Michael Brown case with one about Eric Garner. There are three primary reasons I decided to do this:

The first is that given how much the Michael Brown discussion became about riots, I feel that this case offers a good counterpoint. There have been no mass riots over Eric Garner's death. There have been isolated instances of violence, yes, but none worse than those of Occupy Wall Street. Something that had nothing to do with race.

It seems that some commentators have used Ferguson to revive assertions that African Americans just riot over any killing of a police officer. It is a disgusting argument to make. I feel like it is a case of making a judgment about an entire group of people based on a very narrow subset of unsavory people within that group.

The other reason it is important to mention Eric Garner is that Michael Brown is not an isolated incident. It is striking to me that as the nation debated Michael Brown, several more African Americans were killed at the hands of police officers. Clearly there is a greater issue at play here.

Additionally, unlike Michael Brown, there is very little to concede here when I argue with the other side. There is no doubt in my mind based on all the evidence, even video evidence that what happened to Eric Garner was wholly excessive and unnecessary.

I again express solidarity with the victims of police brutality and I hope that this problem gets resolved in a manner which benefits police, minorities, communities, and the nation at large.

It benefits no one to live in country where these tragedies occur.

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