America’s deep, deep shame is upon us yet again (or really, is still upon us)

President* Trump,

My heart is so heavy for Breonna Taylor’s family and her loved ones, and really, for all of us. It is beyond disgusting and sad that we are a country that ever visits such things on our people and that when such things do happen, we can’t step up and take responsibility other than through the token gesture of a monetary pay out. Yes, there is some promise of policing reform in that jurisdiction and yes one officer was indicted for shooting up things, but how is it that no one is being held accountable for shooting up the person, Breonna?

Really? What the hell?

If the policing was found to need reforming and it took a young woman’s violent death to wake up to this, how is that no one is facing charges for her death? Apparently there is nowhere for the buck to stop – not with the individual officers, not with the person who approved the warrant, not with whoever wasn’t tracking that her ex-boyfriend had already been apprehended, not with the crafters of the rules that allowed the warrant, not with whoever told the ambulance that was on site to leave ahead of the raid, not with the trainers who trained the officers (or the supervisors or the chief or….), not with nobody. It’s all too diffuse. It’s all too important to protect the system. 

It all stopped for Breonna in a flash. God forbid, though, that anyone on the inside of the system be held accountable because well, shit, we might not be able to get people to sign on to be part of such systems and where would the major tool of systemic racism be then? Better to sacrifice a young Black woman’s life and 12 million dollars than upend the system by freaking holding anyone up or down the incident chain accountable. The officers were just following orders. The warrant signer was just following standard protocol. The ambulance drivers were just doing what they were told. The trainers were just following the training plan.

It may feel like a stretch, but it seems akin to how so many White people get righteously defensive about White privilege and our roles in propping up systemic racism and we say stupid shit like “Well, I didn’t have slaves, I don’t owe anybody anything” or “Slavery was centuries ago, it has no bearing on the present – they just need to move on.” There always seems to be a convenient out, a way to side step responsibility, to avoid seeing the elephant in the room that keeps stomping out the precious lives of our Black and brown people.

What is wrong with us?

May all we be safe – it should not be too much to ask.
May we be willing to drop the pretense that is killing our sisters and brothers.
May we realize we are strong enough to deal with the truth.
May we not accept that more of the same is inevitable.

Sincerely,
Tracy Simpson

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