by Otis Buckley
President and Founder of Total Blackout for Reform
I read somewhere that all men are created equal in the eyes of the law, and that all men have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Sure, when those words were written down they didn’t apply to us. But now they do, as now we are free… allegedly, anyway.
Freedom, if we truly had it, would mean that we would not see a cop murder a man, with the cop’s knee on the man’s neck for almost nine minutes, and then not get arrested until four days later. What we saw happen to George Floyd does not seem like freedom to me. It is time for the Constitution to apply to all Americans, not just some Americans.
The Constitution was violated in the cases of Tamir Rice and John Crawford III, who both lived in an open carry state. The tragedy of their deaths was compounded by the police’s failure to recognize that Rice was a twelve-year old child, not an adult. Neither Tamir Rice nor John Crawford III were breaking any laws in playing with their toy guns, as open carry is the law of their state.
The Constitution also didn’t protect Botham Jean or Atatiana Jefferson. I’m sure they were pretty happy sitting in the privacy of their own homes.
And what about the Constitutional rights of Philando Castile when he decided to exert his Second Amendment right to legally carry a firearm?
It is time for the Constitution to apply to every single American in the exact same way!
If Americans want the rebellion to end, the solution lies not with the military. The solution requires systemic change.
Mere words will not convince us. We need to see action! Our demand is to defund the police, and to charge George Floyd’s murderer with a hate crime.