Where does a civilized society draw the line between free speech, the right to bear arms, and the right to protest safely? First some background:
MINNEAPOLIS — Two men were arrested on Tuesday in connection with the overnight shootings of five people during a Black Lives Matter protest outside a police station, the Minneapolis Police Department said.
Black Lives Matter Minneapolis has been camped outside a police station to obtain justice for the shooting death of Jamar Clark. Police say that Clark was fighting them, interfering with paramedics, and going for a police gun. They have yet to release the video. Witnesses claim that Clark was handcuffed, and on the ground when he was killed by police. BLM Minneapolis warned people that there might be violence on their Facebook page:
The two men in the video posted to BLM Minneapolis’s Facebook page laughed and identified themselves by usernames as if bringing loaded weapons and threatening violence to peaceful protesters was some sort of game. It is too early to tell if the two people in this video were responsible for the shootings.
The two suspects were reportedly identified as a White and Hispanic man. A third suspect in being sought in connection with the shootings. *Update from Dave Futrelle of “We Hunted the Mammoth”:
Police took two men — one white, one Hispanic — into custody in connection with the shooting, later releasing the Hispanic man. Two other white men, both in their twenties, turned themselves in to police this afternoon.
He is also reporting a possible connection between the shooters and the internet troll forum 4Chan.
The alleged planning emails quoted by Raw Story, with their references to “SJW faggots” and “beta white cuck[s],” are steeped in the language, and the aggrieved entitlement, not only of 4chan but of the broader manosphere; it’s the same sort of language used by readers of the cuck-obsessed white supremacist “pickup artist” Heartiste and more than a few GamerGate trolls.
Video posted of the incident on youtube is already accumulating racist apologetics.
Video Content Note Shootings: A few questions:
1. Where were police to prevent the shootings? This happened outside a police station.
2. If there were armed Muslim men threatening violence, wouldn’t they have been detained by police when they arrived?
3. Why were armed agitators tolerated by police for days?
4. People tell me it is a felony to brandish weapons at innocent people even to the point of simply showing a weapon to someone to intimidate them. Why weren’t they arrested before this became an incident?
5. Why was it up to civilians to ensure the public safety of the protesters through facebook warnings, and keeping an eye on armed, masked terrorists? Again where do we draw the line on the freedom to peaceful assembly and the right to bears arms? Can you bear arms to stalk , harass, and intimidate people?
The people who brought weapons to this protest had no intent to be responsible gun owners. They came with loaded guns to provoke people, and if we are to believe the video some of them came with the premeditated intent to shoot people. To answer my own question everyone draws the line differently. For some they will assign good intent if the armed people are white, and bad intent even if black person is unarmed. Evidence of this is the tolerance of white armed militants menacing people for days without any meaningful action from police. It is already being spun not as an act of terrorism, but as if the shootings were somehow provoked on the video of the incident.
The sidebar discussion of racism by some of the prominent voices in the Atheist community has been disappointing to me as an atheist that values reason and critical thinking. That the discussion is often diverted to narratives that make the matter about their feelings as white people is disappointing. There are even some of the same racist justifications as Right wingers such as victim blaming for example diverting the discussion of police brutality against Blacks to Black on Black crime. Freethinkers already have freed themselves from oppressive religious narratives, but some aren’t willing to do the work to free themselves from other biased thinking such as racism. Sometimes Progressive Christians are better Humanists than some atheists.
And finally, why is it necessary in 2015 for Black people to have to keep insisting their lives matter only to be talked over and even shot? Why can’t some people see them as people deserving of the same respect, protection, compassion, and most of all justice we owe everyone regardless if they are the same race as others or not?