Sunday, May 31, 2020

Back Lives Matter Special

This is an extra issue and a special issue about the death of George Floyd and the protests that it has provoked. I decided to make and release this issue because I felt weird about not covering this issue on Friday. The main reason I did not mention George Floyd in the comic released Friday is that the comic has a terrible lead time. I made the comic for last week on Sunday, before all this blew up. I am also very close to being on vacation and I feel exhausted from working in retail in the midst of a pandemic so I was not quite on the ball enough this week to make an extra issue before now. I wanted to post an issue about this topic this weekend because I felt like next Friday would be too late. There will of course, be a regular issue of Rick this week. I found this issue to be incredibly hard to write. I toyed with making it an entirely serious issue to match my angst. I also struggled with finding the right tone and making the right arguments. Anyway, I made it a special issue because police brutality perfectly matches my criteria for making something a special issue. It is an important topic and one I do not cover enough. It has been many years since I have mentioned police brutality against people of color. My brother posted a meme to Facebook which had the headline about things you need to know about George Floyd. The meme continued to list many admirable qualities and traits of Floyd. This list reinforces the fact that Minneapolis and Floyd’s friends and loved ones have suffered a terrible loss, but there is only one thing I personally need to know about George Floyd: he was a human being. No one deserves to die that way. No one should be bound in handcuffs and have their airway obstructed by the knee of another person. My anger is not directed towards all police officers. I know that it is not all cops, but it is far too many of them. Police brutality happens enough that it merits a response form all of the law enforcement institution in the United States. I also wish police officers, the decent police officers, would be more willing to speak out against the bad ones. It seems to me that police officers tend to get automatically defensive and I wish they would be more willing to speak out against their brethren who act in bad faith. I wish they were willing to speak out against their brethren that besmirch the reputation of police everywhere. If police officers and politicians around the country would respond to minorities with empathy and take steps to discipline the truly bad police officers, I think it would go a long way to making things right. I also think that police officers should be trained differently in how they approach these kinds of situations.

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