The Officer Who Killed Tamir Rice Will Not Be Indicted and I Am Calm.
Today, Bill Murray is my spirit animal. Well, in accordance with the mandate of this website (the mandate being complete and total honesty in all forms of communication concerning fucketry/asshat related activities/shenanigans/flim flams/etc.). Bill Murray was always my spirit animal. He just seems like a consistently chill dude that would totally let you hit the bowl first even though he was the one that paid. I’m not naïve. I know that the reality of who a celebrity is in their personal life is often at odds with the personae they display when out and about rubbing shoulders with the big wigs. (Look at me with the film industry talk! No more low budget Miracle Whip based pornos for this guy!). Point is, I often take time to reflect upon my love of Bill and all that he has gifted us with in his prolific 40+year career and today is no different.
Today, I’m thinking about Groundhog Day.
For those of you who do not sit at the cool kids table of American colloquialisms, Groundhog Day is a phrase that’s used when the events of a particular day are repeated and repeated and repeated ad nauseam. Kind of like the Scary Movie franchise minus the confusion you have once you realize that neither the 2 hours nor 20 dollars you spent watching that garbage has done anything to better your life. In fact, you just may be a worse person for having willingly subjected yourself to that comedic snuff film.
Yesterday, a grand jury chose not to indict Timothy Loehmann for the shooting death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice that occurred on November 22, 2014. Another grand jury chose not to indict the man who murdered a child that could easily have been any one of our children. This man was absolved of accountability and moral consequence…and I am docile. I am calm in my temperament because I have had the macabre opportunity to hone my reaction throughout countless scenarios like this one. For some, this may bring the names of Sandra Bland, Freddie Gray, Laquan McDonald, Eric Garner, and so many others to mind but be cognizant of the fact that these deaths are nothing but the most recent drops in a sea of aggression, fear, and tragedy. I know this yet still…I am calm.
What keeps me calm is that I know that in the very near future you and I will once again be subjected to the most sacrosanct of American Privilege. The privilege of watching the media circus that will gleefully put the image of the irreparably rendered family on the public dais for judgment. Where the fundamental laws of victimhood are displayed high on our TV screens telling us that a victim is only as good as their parentage. Or their grades. Or perhaps even the very nature of why they were walking around in the public space in the first place. Then the rote motions of the Facebook wars will commence. I’m speaking of course about the battle of opinions that take place in every comment thread featuring whatever think piece article/asinine status post featuring provocative language. My theory is that the threads provide people the opportunity to become their very own Martin Luther. Posting their version of The 95 thesis to the church door of our collected social media passivity. We do this knowing that it is all sound and fury with no measurable change in how we are complicit in allowing black and brown people to die without accountability in this country.
My country that holds a tacit endorsement for the murder of minorities that fail to fit the specific mold for how “model” minorities should comport themselves. How can one have time to adjust to this metric when any mistake could render your life moot? Why should anyone conform to a model that is as antiquated as any of the darkest chapters of American history but still have a pervasive reach in what we consider more progressive times? Why should the concept of a child being afforded his constitutional and inherent human rights be considered progressive or with condition? How does this dog whistle of open season on black and brown bodies not provoke one to simmer and fester in the darkest corners of their own debilitating rage?
But I am calm.
I am numb.
I am frightened and horrified and sad and depressed at my own uselessness in preventing my own demise. John Crawford died running an errand. Eric Garner was murdered for just a moments worth of incomprehension. This cannot be life in the country I love. This cannot be what we condone much less who we are.
However, I still have Bill Murray. I will admit that when things aren’t so cocoa puffs and farts, Bill Murray is cold comfort. I do remember this one conversation his character was having with Ralph, though. I remember it because at this point in the movie Bill Murray’s character Phil speaks as if he is a man that has seen the sun rise and set too many times to be caught of guard by the human condition yet, here, there is no small hint of desperation in his words.
“What would you do if you were stuck in one place and every day was exactly the same, and nothing that you did mattered?”
It was a good movie.