What Happened Before The Video?

It is a familiar trolling question following the release of video that show police beating, yelling at, manhandling, stomping, tasering, choking and, of course, shooting Black men and women:

What happened before the video?” someone invariably asks, as if there is something that justifies the brutality we witness with every new video.

The question is posed as a faux concern and purposeful deflection to the horror of the latest video of police brutality.

The faux concern people are equivalent to those who say things like “I still need to think about how I am going to vote for president” when they and we know they are again voting for Trump.

And the purposeful deflection people are those people who believe that cops murdering and abusing people is always justified and a “reason just needs to be found.

The question is a loaded question that leads to arguments, unfriending and unfollowing, and debates on the purpose of police, aka slave-hunters, and how they protect and enforce white supremacy by controlling Black bodies everywhere, but particularly Black bodies in white spaces.

While there are instances where “the whole video is released” either by family, bystanders, or police, the preceding video can rarely justify the familiar outcomes we see every day.

The police and their supporters believe the cops are one-hundred percent justified in all police actions and any video is seen as supporting the cop’s actions, regardless of the content of said video.

We already know what happened “before the video” so here are reminders that you are free to share the next time there is a video that shows the police doing what the police do to Black men and women.

Millions were enslaved, murdered, raped, deformed, beaten, sold, bought, separated from family, and denied human rights.

Millions were denied the right to vote.

Trillions of dollars and property was stolen.

Thousands were lynched.

Millions were confined to prison and jails on false charges.

Many were put to death after all-white juries convicted them.

Millions were displaced by roads, freeways, oil wells, big business, and cities.

Millions were forced to live in ghettos.

Millions live in areas with no services, grocery stores, or banks

Millions live around predatory payday loan businesses and fast food restaurants

Millions were denied jobs, healthcare, and fair wages.

Thousands died frighting in overseas wars for “freedom.”

Millions attended underfunded schools.

Hundreds of our kids were brutalized in schools by cops

Millions lived in buildings rife with lead.

Millions were denied entry into unions.

Millions were charged more for credit and paid more homes and cars.

Millions were given poor healthcare.

Millions were stopped for no reason, frisked for no reason, and denied fair trials.

Millions refused entry into eateries, cities, roads, neighborhoods, and universities.

Millions and generations were denied access to voting and forced to wait hours to vote.

Millions were harassed online.

Millions see faux blue lives regarded more than actual Black Lives Matter.

Millions see almost all-white network and cable talking heads.

Millions see harsher sentencing for same offenses as white people.

Millions see killer cops celebrated and give new jobs and promotions.

Millions were called “boy” “nigger” “nigger-bitch” “monkey” “ape” “animal.”

Millions watched our heroes be assassinated.

Millions saw/see President Obama referred to as “Kenyan,” un-American, “ni**er.”

Millions saw/see First Lady Michelle Obama racially disparaged every single day.

Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, on Tuesday, February 5, 2019.

And millions see the first Black woman and first Indian woman on the Presidential ticket, referred to as many disparaging words and terms as all Black women endure online and in their daily lives.

That is what happened before the video.

© 2020 by Myron J. Clifton. All Rights Reserved.

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