All Lives Do Matter
Since slavery, America has constantly denied its racial problem.
However, during the Civil Rights Movement the countless acts of violence aimed at leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. forced America to realize the extent of its racial epidemic. Critics could no longer pretend because images of police violence bombarded them on a regular basis via the evening news.
Thanks to advanced technology like cell phone cameras, everyone is a “ citizen journalist” in 2015 and the shooting death of Walter Scott, captured on video, makes it harder for those with blinders on to deny the fact that we live in a society in which not only do Black lives seem not to matter, many have no regard for human life at all.
According to the New York Times, “A White police officer (Michael T. Slager) in North Charleston, S.C., was charged with murder Tuesday after a video surfaced showing him shooting in the back and killing an apparently unarmed Black man while the man ran away.”
Reports say that Slager, 33, feared for his life and that Walter Scott, 50, took his Taser away from him after a routine traffic stop.
However, the video shows that Slager first fired shots at Walter Scott after he had run 15 to 20 feet away from him.
Slager stated that he administered CPR on Walter Scott, but video seems to refute that claim.
And although the 33-year-old officer also stated that Walter Scott had taken his Taser away, video shows that he lost an object during the initial tussle and after he shot him eight times, Slager went back to the spot of the tussle, picked up an object and placed it next to the lifeless body of Walter Scott.
Because of swift action by leaders in North Charleston, S.C., Slager was arrested on murder charges and could face the death penalty.
“When you’re wrong, you’re wrong,” Mayor Keith Summey said, “And if you make a bad decision—don’t care if you’re behind the shield or just a citizen on the street—you have to live by that decision.”
The leaders of North Charleston, S.C. should be commended for handling a bad situation the right way unlike their counterparts in other volatile cities.
Slager will have his day in court, and hopefully justice prevails.
However, the death of Walter Scott is a great test for those who have criticized the Black Lives Matter movement by stating that All Lives Matter.
They are absolutely right, all lives do matter, but what many fail to realize is that Black lives are included in all the lives they speak of.
Regardless of race, if people do not get queasy after seeing the killings of Walter Scott or Eric Garner, they simply do not care about human life.
For someone to be shot in the back while they are running away from a situation is akin to hunters on a deer lease looking to score some venison or mount a deer head as a trophy in their man cave.
The alleged story that Slager told about the death of the 50-year-old South Carolinian has probably been told a thousand times throughout America’s history.
Unfortunately, because of the stereotypes of Black men, many in America automatically believe a White officer when they say they feared for their life because of the presence of a Black man.
Walter Scott, however, has been one of only a few that had a video to speak for him from beyond the grave.
Who knows whether Slager will face any jail time for his actions that were captured on video.
Pedestrians captured video of incidents involving Rodney King and Garner and we see how those stories ended.
But the video will put Americans to the test. People’s responses will show whether they harbor racial hatred in their hearts or whether they will really belief that all lives matter.
Proverbs 23:7 states, “For as he thinketh in his heart so is he…”
People love to claim that they are not racists and that they treat everyone equally but incidents like the death of Walter Scott often prove otherwise.
If a person really values human life, they will not justify Scott’s death by saying that he faced incarceration for failing to pay child support.
They will not say he should have had his tail light fixed.
They will not bring up whether he ever jaywalked in elementary school or cheated on a test in middle school.
They will not say he drank alcohol or smoked weed.
If all lives really matter, they will recognize that an unarmed man got shot eight times in the back as he ran away, and they will finally realize America has a problem with racism and police brutality.
And they will do everything they can to make sure incidents like the killing of Walter Scott never happen again.