What has been more disturbing for me in the week since the Terence Crutcher shooting is following it on Facebook. Social media is awful. At least some people have been refreshingly honest by saying, “the only good nigger is a dead nigger.” Yeah, I actually saw that one from some poster in North Carolina or South Carolina.
But, what is more common than calling him a “nigger” is calling Mr. Crutcher a “thug”. It’s a respectable word white people can use instead of saying “nigger”. Why is Mr. Crutcher or another black man a “thug”? What, because he’s black? White people say, “no, but what about his criminal record?” Well, plenty of people were saying it before his criminal record came out. When people began saying it, all we knew about Crutcher was the videos and the police statement that he reached in the window–testimony that is now doubtful.
Well, “what about his drug use? Doesn’t that make him a thug?” Do you call Elvis a thug? What about Johnny Cash or Waylon Jennings? What about Willie Nelson? Is he a thug? Or, are they white? Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson have criminal records for drugs. Every famous person that has met Willie Nelson has a story about how much dope he smokes. But, he’s white–so he’s not a “thug”.
Who’s the real “thug” in this story? What about Betty Shelby? She is a person who shot and killed an unarmed man. What is more thuggish than that? The Tulsa district attorney thought it was unjustified and filed charges. But, no one will ever call her that.