What Paul O’Neal’s Public Execution Taught Me About White People (and Wanna-Be-White People)

[Photo description: A young black man, Paul O’Neal, is seen from the chin up in a selfie. He is looking at the camera and smiling.]

It has dawned on me as to why many white people’s (and wanna-be-white people’s) response to situations like the public execution of Paul O’Neal is:

“Well, they shouldn’t have been committing a crime and maybe cops wouldn’t have had to kill them” — even though execution without a trial, jury, or judge — particularly for crimes that do not call for the death penalty — is illegal and immoral.

I believe that some white people believe that all they have left to distinguish themselves from black people is the ability to commit crimes and not be murdered by police because of it.

If they can’t have monetary wealth, they want to keep, exclusively, the little piece of white supremacist benefit that allows them to make errors and not have to pay for them with their lives.

So, in order to partake of that benefit, our state-sanctioned deaths — and their judgments of our deaths as just — are necessary.

But the facts remain:

1. This kid was unarmed.

2. He did not deserve to die.

3. The cops lied up and down and back and forth about so many things, it’s hard to keep up.

4. The videos clocked all of their teas, including them telling each other to turn off their body-cams and stomping the kid’s lifeless body.

5. If you didn’t know it was war before, you can’t deny it now.

Rest in peace, Paul.

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