Excessive and Lethal Force: It’s Not Just Against Black Men

There is no shortage of high profile incidents of African American men and boys being shot and killed by while unarmed in places they have every right to be. From (and before) Emmett Till (1955) to Sean Bell (2006), Oscar Grant (2009), Trayvon Martin (2012), Jonathan Ferrell (2013), and countless others. (Twenty are reviewed at The Root.)

The frequency of these murders of Black men might give the impression that other women and other people of color groups are not also murdered under similar circumstances. Lest we be mistaken that Black men are the only group of people that are held in suspicion by our White-normative culture, we should remember the recent cases of:

Andy Lopez – 13-year-old shot by a Sonoma County deputy, while carrying a toy rifle

Renisha McBride – young woman shot on the doorstep of a homeowner as she sought assistance after a car accident

The fact that some of these sons and daughters were killed by other People of Color doesn’t negate the racial framing of the shooting. All of us, no matter what our racial identity, are influenced by the lie of White supremacy and the systems that reinforce it.

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