Is violence threatened still violence?
America’s nightmare of violence and racism got upended in New York City on Saturday with the shooting of a woman in Baltimore, the shooting of two cops in Brooklyn and the suicide of their suspected fleeing killer.
This time, the bloody violence was clear, and the social-media threat appears real, but the racial and power dynamics are as confusing as they are telling: A black man, Ismaiiyl Brinsley, apparently shot his ex-girlfriend (race unknown), then traveled to New York, where he “assassinated” an Asian officer and a Hispanic officer of the New York Police Department (NYPD), in their squad car. In between,an Instagram photo: a gun, revenge and references to the killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. You will believe what happened next – white head of the police union declares war on protesters within hours – but it shouldn’t have to be this way.
By Steven W. Thrasher