What did you think would happen? Once, when I was visiting an elementary school classroom, a second-grader wanted to tell me about his trip to SeaWorld. He told me and the rest of the class about the dolphins, octopi, and all the rare and crazy fish he saw. Then he went into an elaborate story about watching a “killer whale.” By sheer coincidence, this kid happened to be a visitor at SeaWorld in 2010 on the exact day the orca killed its trainer in front of the amusement park onlookers.
By the time he finished his story, the entire class was silent, until another student yelled out from the back of the class: “Nigga, it’s a killer whale! What did you think would happen?” Everyone laughed except me and him. I assumed that he was sad for having witnessed something so tragic, so I attempted to console him. But he shrugged at me and said: “Nah, it was kind of beautiful, actually.”
There was an injustice in St. Louis today. After hearing how St. Louis Police Officer Jason Stockley said he was going to kill Anthony Lamar Smith, chased him down and shot him at point-blank range even though Smith was not holding a weapon, Circuit Judge Timothy Wilson pronounced Stockley not guilty and slandered Smith in the process, reasoning that Smith was a dope boy and saying that an “urban heroin dealer not in possession of a firearm would be an anomaly.”
Even though forensics experts could not find Smith’s DNA or fingerprints on the gun. Even though every single witness said they didn’t see a gun. Even though the only person whose DNA was on the weapon was Stockley’s. Even though it is on camera. Even though you can hear Stockley say he was going to kill Smith. Even though you can watch Stockley do it.
Activists, leaders and pastors in St. Louis warned that they were going to “shut it down” if Stockley was found not guilty. The SLPD has a history of shooting and killing people. They have a long precedent of getting away with it. The people of St. Louis have said that this one wouldn’t be nice; St. Louis is fed up.
St. Louis is a whale.
What did they think would happen? Do they think the citizens will continue to sit peacefully waiting for their turn to be killed? Do you think black people will never tire of watching their sons, daughters, fathers and mothers being turned into corpses with no hope for justice or recompense? How long do you think they can last before they feel like drowning someone? Like chomping their captors to bits?
We told you this would happen. Not because we have a crystal ball or employ a soothsayer. Because it was bound to happen. Because science, human nature and common sense dictate that nothing can boil forever without either melting or exploding.
The shit is hitting the fan in St. Louis, and it is only the beginning. It might not be entirely peaceful. It could get ugly.
Protests, whether violent or peaceful, will not bring back Anthony Lamar Smith. They will not convict Jason Stockley. There might not be any logic to where the feces sprays or who gets hit, but it is as just and logical as the indiscriminate killing of black men by law-enforcement officers all across the country. It might not be fair, and it might not solve the problem, but whenever a community of people finally decide to stand up to their oppressors, no matter how bloody, ugly or out of control it may get ...
... it’s kind of beautiful, actually.
Read more at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.