Word Vomit Wednesday - Things More Offensive than Taking a Knee

Welcome to Word Vomit Wednesday! A series of blog posts about a specific topic from current events that I, and sometimes the rest of the Internet, ruminate obsessively about. All thoughts/opinions/experiences are my own; I don’t claim anything that I write to represent anyone other than myself.

Since we all like a fun Buzzfeed list, I made one of my own: 

                                       20 Things that are More Offensive than Taking A Knee                                                                                    CW: Trauma/Police Brutality/Violence                                             *The order does not indicate significance

1. Dontre Hamilton, 31, shot 14 times by Officer Christopher Manney. Reason: Existing as a person with paranoid schizophrenia. He was not armed. Officer not charged. (Milwaukee, WI)

2. Eric Garner, 43, choked to death in an illegal chokehold by Officer Daniel Pantaleo. Reason: Selling loose cigarettes. He was not armed. Officers not charged. (Staten Island, NY)

3. Trayvon Martin, 17, shot to death by civilian and serial domestic abuser George Zimmerman. Reason: Wearing a hoodie. He was not armed. Zimmerman was not charged bc Stand Your Ground Laws in FL, seem to allow murdering unarmed children. (Miami, FL)

4. Michael Brown Jr., 18, shot to death by Officer Darren Wilson. Reason: Suspected armed robbery. Michael Brown was not armed. Officer not charged. (Ferguson, MO)

5. John Crawford III, 22, shot to death by Officers Sean Williams & David Darkow. Reason: Shopping at Walmart. He was not armed. Officers not charged. (Dayton, OH)

6. Ezell Ford, 25, shot to death by Officers Sharlton Wampler and Antonio Villegas. Reason: Existing with mental illness. He was unarmed. Officers have not been charged. (Florence, CA)

7. Tamir Rice, 12, shot and killed by Officers Timothy Loehmann & Frank Garmback. Reason: Playing with a toy gun. He was unarmed. Officers not charged. (Cleveland OH)

8. Rumain Brisbon, 34, shot and killed by Officer Mark Rine. Reason: Officer mistook a pill bottle for a weapon. He was unarmed. Officer not charged. (Phoenix, AZ)

9. Freddie Gray, 25, died of spinal cord injury after being arrested by police. Reason: Running away. Allegedly carried a switchblade. All five officers were not charged. (Baltimore, MD)

10. CURRENT EVENT BONUS!!! The people of the United States Territory of Puerto Rico. After being ravaged by Hurricane Maria that left the island without 100% of it’s power, potable water to only 40% of its population, 16 people dead so far and more will start dying if they continue to go without resources. 45 has not only blamed the island for its issues and has refused to repeal the Jones Act which would allow Puerto Rico to receive foreign aid in this crisis. Reason: They’re brown and 45 probably doesn’t realize that they’re American. 45 is an asshole. (USA)

11. Sandra Bland, 28, found dead in a cell three days after being arrested by Officer Brian Encinia. Reason: Failing to signal when changing lanes. She was unarmed.  Officer was fired and indicted for perjury, no one charged in her death. (Prairie View, TX)

12. Alton Sterling, 37, thrown to the ground by police Officers Blane Salamoni & Howie Lake II and shot. Reason: Selling CDs. He was unarmed. Officers put on administrative leave, but not charged. (Baton Rouge, LA)

13. Philando Castile, 32, shot multiple times in his car by Officer Jeronimo Yanez in front of his girlfriend and her five-year-old daughter as he was complying with proper procedure and reaching for his gun license. Reason: Broken tail light. Was licensed to carry a weapon and was following proper protocol. Officer put on administrative leave, but not charged. (Falcon Heights, MN)

In this next part of the list I’m going to acknowledge some of those murdered from the transgender community. Transgender women of color face more violence than any other group and have been dying for decades. Here are a few of those who were killed this year alone:

14. Mesha Caldwell, 41, shot to death on Jan. 4, 2017. Still under investigation. (Canton, Mississippi)

15. Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow, 28, murdered by Joshua Rayvon LeClaire. He was charged with murder and manslaughter. (Sioux Falls, South Dakota)

16. Tiara Richmond aka Keke Collier, 24, fatally shot on Feb. 21, 2017 on the same street that two other transgender women were killed on in 2012. (Chicago, IL)

17. Chyna Doll Dupree, 31, shot and killed while visiting friends and family. There have been at least nine reported murders of transgender people in Louisiana since 2013. (New Orleans, LA)

18. Chay Reed, 28, shot and killed April 21, 2017.  (Miami, FL)

19. Sherrell Faulkner, 46, died on May 16, 2017, of sustained injuries from an attack on Nov. 30, 2016. Police are treating the assault as a homicide, no arrests have been made. (Charlotte, North Carolina)

And for what makes all of the above possible…drum roll please…

20. White Supremacy/Fascism. When a person is privileged enough to get offended by someone using their 1st Amendment rights to create a dialogue of how differently America treats it’s brown and black citizens, rather than being offended by the treatment of brown and black citizens, then that person is probably a white supremacist. Those people are culprits in the treatment of and the deaths of those above and the millions more that I did not mention here. If we want the flag and the National Anthem to mean anything, we need to heal our deep hypocrisies. We cannot claim to be “the land of the free and home of the brave” when so many of our fellow citizens remain shackled.

Katie Louchheim believes that black lives matter more than a fucking ball game.