Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Where's Debbie Duncan?

Perusing Facebook, I happened upon a  thread concerning the tragic death of  Major Barney, a Metro-Atlanta Police Officer who was slain in the line of duty.  A Facebook user, Debbie Duncan, fueled a hate-filled discussion by asking...  [Where's Al Sharpton and Beyoncé now... I guess Black Lives matter only when they're not blue...]

Regardless of the community or group one primarily affiliates with, most of us can say we abhor crime.  We don't celebrate the criminal pariahs that exist in all communities.  We are all incensed when injustice supersedes justice.  When criminality eclipses lawfulness, regardless of which side the criminality occurs, we all suffer.

Whether it's an innocent child walking home then murdered by a thug with a firearm and no authority or an unarmed man holding up his wallet to identify himself is gunned down by more than forty bullets or a police officer slain in the line of duty, it is all reprehensible.

People who poke the public with thinly veneered, race-baited sarcasm and dog whistles unnerve me.

Moreso disdainful is when injustice is served exponentially, perpetuated and upheld by those sworn to exact fairness regardless of one's personal biases.  Case and point: a criminal, thug walks into a church of unarmed praying parishioners, proceeds to execute them and the judge has the unmitigated gall to admonish the victims and families to not only think of their hurt but emphasizes to have sympathy for the thug and his family.  To twist the knife further lawmakers and blowhards blame the victims for not being armed.  I ask Where's Debbie Duncan?

When innocent children attending school are murdered by thugged-out criminals legally obtaining lethal assault weapons  and the lobbyist for gun control maintain the ease of accessing these weapons...  When a woman is pulled out of her car for a minor traffic offense, arrested for resisting arrest and is now dead...  Where's Debbie Duncan?

How about when a sitting president is unabashedly disrespected, elected officials criminally refuse to work for the betterment of its constituents, our country, because of bigotry?  When a mentally ill woman driving erratically in a car outside of the White House is gunned down while her baby is in the back seat, but a man jumps the White House fence and makes it through the front door and is still alive... Is Debbie Duncan speaking out against these atrocities?

What is Debbie saying when an officer executes a fleeing man, attempts to frame the unarmed man with a weapon and falsifies his police report.  The officer is jailed only because his irrefutable actions are caught on camera, not that that helped Rodney King--I digress.  Then said officer is quietly released on bail to await trial.  Is Debbie Duncan protesting the officer's release on bail?   Again I ask Where is Debbie Duncan?

Dear Debbie, 

We see you... 

Your attempt to conflate the issue of crime and injustice by calling out an agent committed to the eradication of injustice and an entertainer is flagrantly transparent.  Your slip is showing and it's deplorable and dirty.  You obviously hold disdain for Reverend Al Sharpton, Beyoncé and I suspect anyone who speaks out against injustice but then call on those same names, for what?  What you prove is your bigoted self-righteousness.  Unlike you, I have no issue calling a thing a thing*.  Have you expressed the same accountability for musician Ted Nugent (threatens the execution of the President and a presidential candidate) and Donald Trump or actor James Wood who calls for Congress to ignore any Supreme Court Justice nomination by the President?

For the record, I don't know Debbie Duncan.  Our only connection is a fleeting Facebook moment behind a computer screen.  However, my sensitivity to this issue comes from one who is a friend. When a White officer from my friend's community was killed in the line of duty allegedly by a Black perpetrator, she too, asked the question Where is Al Sharpton now?  To which I responded, Would Al Sharpton be welcomed in your neighborhood?  Is his voice needed in your community?  Do you welcome his voice for your cause?  Did you invite Al Sharpton to your cause?  I didn't get an answer from her either.  I surmise that like Debbie, her answer would be no.  My friend and a stranger, hold a similar vacuous point.

I briefly met Al Sharpton on one or two occasions; I've witnessed him preach and speak.  During one of his speaking engagements he shared an interesting fact: with most incidents if not all, Mr. Sharpton's appearance and/or involvement is at the request of the family or victim.  My questions to you Debbie Duncan are: What are you doing?  Do you hold those you call leader accountable for every action or inaction?

The Black community is not anti-police.  We are anti-brutality and injustice.  We are anti-disparate treatment of citizens and criminals based on the color of our skin.  We are anti-automatic violence and death because of our skin.  We are anti-your bias, mis-perceptions, entitlement and privilege.

So yes, when a good police officer is slain or an innocent person is murdered regardless of ethnicity on either parties, humanity is hurt, disturbed and dismayed.  Bad is Bad and we don't like it.  What I want to know is... When Bad is Bad...  And instead of pointing the fingers at figures voicing their opinion about injustice, ask yourself what are you doing about it... Better yet ask... Where's Debbie Duncan?

This is Toni Staton Harris... Checkin' Up and In on Where's Debbie Duncan?

*Calling a Thing, a Thing... is credited to Inyanla Vanzant.


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