Dealing with Despair by Carol P. Christ


This blog post also notes that cities and small towns use traffic tickets for minor violations to fund their governments. Immediately, I thought of a tiny town on the highway from Amarillo to Dallas that rakes in huge amounts of money this way. Then this morning I just read of another incident where police killed a black man who, instead of having a gun as police claimed, had his hands up in the air–from a surveillance camera nearby. The police officers in question had on body cameras–that footage has not yet been released. I am quite sure we will hear more about that one even if it has not been on the national news yet.

Philando Castile, school cafeteria worker, killed driving while black Philando Castile, school cafeteria worker, killed driving while black

In a state of shock after the police shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, I turned to my Facebook feed, looking for community in my grief and hoping to make sense of what had happened. The statement, “He would not have been shot if he had been white,” referring to Philando Castile, appeared several times. The first time I saw it, I responded, “He would not even have been stopped if he had been white.” Think about it if you are white: how many times have you been pulled over by the police?

I can answer that question: in the United States, only once, and that was because I made a second illegal U-turn at the same stop-lighted intersection as a teenager.  The policeman issued me two tickets, stating that he had been willing to let the first offence go…

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