You guys know me by now. I’m the happy-go-lucky funny guy who talks about fatherhood, potty training, and the general hilarity of being a dad. But every now and then I decide to ruffle some feathers and unleash a political rant. This is one of those times.
As usual, some of you will love what I have to say, and others won’t – but that comes with the territory of being an opinionated dude on the Internet.
So what am I here to talk about today?
Chances are you’re frustrated by “that friend,” “that coworker,” or “that relative” (unless you are that friend, coworker, or relative) who doesn’t understand why Black people are so upset with the state of America right now. And because they don’t understand, they will offer up lame arguments to discredit the emotions of Black Americans. My mission today is to poke holes in those arguments in a relatively tidy fashion.
What these armchair patriots fail to recognize is there are few things that are more American than doing what Colin Kaepernick and other athletes are doing. They are exercising their rights to protest American injustice in a peaceful way.
Yes, you have the right to disagree with these protests. But when you tell Kaepernick and others to “leave America“ because you disagree with how they protest, it makes you completely unAmerican. Thankfully his actions helped to spark a much-needed dialogue, and we should we welcome it.
In what universe does a police officer have the right to kill somebody for not listening or for being disrespectful? And if you happen to believe that argument, why does it only apply to Black people?
Two white Donald Trump supporters savagely beat up and urinated on a Mexican man in Boston and were taken alive by the police.
A white dude turns into a damn zombie, eats the faces of two people, and after a stun gun and police dogs couldn’t get him off of his victim, four officers teamed up to arrest him. You guessed it, he was taken alive by the police, too.
Hell, a terrorist injured 29 people in NYC and he was taken alive by the police.
Terence Crutcher (a black man and father of 4) was unarmed, driving home from college, had his hands up, and was shot and left to die by the police.
OK look, this isn’t complicated.
Unless you’re talking about the Smurfs, “Blue Lives” aren’t a real thing (and neither are the Smurfs). Unlike skin color, being a police officer is chosen.
Secondly, if you believe “All Lives Matter,” then nobody should be more pissed off than you by the unjust murders of Black people by the cops. But (predictably) when another black man is gunned down by the police, further demonstrating that Black lives DON’T matter, your outrage is nowhere to be found. Instead, you’ll offer up a bunch of “yeah, buts,” victim blaming, and silly memes about celebrity couples splitting up.
Of course there are. Any reasonable person knows that, and if you think I hate the police, you’re completely mistaken. I recently met LAPD Police Chief Charlie Beck and he’s a wonderful man.
However, you’re not paying attention if you don’t understand why many Black people are mistrusting of the police in general (refer to Argument #2).
And do you know what’s truly scary? Being a police officer suddenly looks like a dream job for white supremacists. America has shown us that all you need is a badge and gun, and you can intimidate, harass, beat up, and kill brown and black people and receive a paid vacation afterwards. Hell, if I was a racist, I’d be filling out my application to join the police academy right now.
With that said, everyone is so quick to offer their .02 on what the Black community needs to do to improve, so how about we share what we need from the police? Let’s start with more accountability, better training, better vetting of applicants, and more good cops calling out the bad ones.
And in regard to the last point, props must be given to an Ohio Police Chief named Rodney Muterspaw who just spoke out against senseless police killings.
Because sadly, this is 100% about race, that’s why.
I’m an author, a proud dad, a keynote speaker, a brand ambassador, etc., but above all of that, I’m a Black man. There’s always that thought in the back of my mind that my life could end if I have an unfortunate incident with a police officer. Yes, I’ve had plenty of great experiences with police officers, but what if I happen to encounter that one cop who had a bad day? If you’re going to argue that race has nothing to do with it, then I have to just shake my head and walk away from you.
Doyin (pronounced “doe-ween”) Richards is a daddy, husband, author, and public speaker inspiring new mothers and fathers to think, laugh, and learn while evolving as parents and as people. Since creating his Daddy Doin’ Work blog in June 2012, it has rapidly grown to become one of the most popular daddy blogs in America with no signs of slowing down.
Richards is an in-demand spokesman on the topic of modern fatherhood. He has been interviewed by the TODAY Show, NPR, Katie Couric, USA Today, CNN, Parents Magazine, Yahoo!, Huffington Post Live, DL Hughley, Sunrise Australia, the New York Times, Cosmopolitan, Better TV, and more.