All Lives Matter, Right

If All Lives Matter, then abolish the death penalty and stop killing people with drones.

Do the people quoting All Lives Matter really, truly believe that ALL lives matter? All of them? 

All Lives Matter is a smokescreen. If they really, really want to show us that all lives matter, there plenty of ways to do that. 

Black People are not Aliens

This is my response to a question by another writer asking about whether to include a black person in their story. Others were tending to say that she might struggle and should write what she knows.

Write what you know does NOT exclude black people. You know them. Even if you have never met one. You know them because they are people first. They do not define themselves by their blackness. The minor character in your story will define herself as a person, as a friend, as a mother, as a lover, as a doer of whatever she does for fun or money. Write a person. Describe black skin. It will will succeed. Guaranteed.

The correct short name for black people isn’t blacks, it’s people.

Fear of a Black Planet

Outraged is how I feel.

Alton Sterling and Philando Castile are the latest to die in encounters with police. There is no doubt both of these men would be alive if they had not been black. If they could have magically changed themselves, to appear as anything else, they would be alive right now. Black men are feared, even if they are 12 years old. So many police officers/security officers in these situations have said they feared for their lives–that this was the reason they shot the other person, even if that person was running away from them, even if the person was being held down on the ground.

The police have a difficult job and they are terrified. Who wants a terrified protector? The many instances of white citizens resisting arrest, bickering with the police, even fist fighting with the cops and then walking away alive amaze me. A black person would have been dead–but the police were not afraid of these citizens and that kept them tight in the head, they didn’t shoot.

I have taught my son that police officers are our friends, that they help and protect us. He trusts uniforms, mommy wore one. He’s eight. I hate it that I have to perhaps teach him that if he is ever stopped for speeding he is in terrible danger. That he must try to calm a terrified person with a gun, smile and don’t move a muscle. “Please don’t shoot me, sir. I’m may be black, but I want to live through this traffic stop.”

How fucked up is this? Black men, even boys are feared. Period. I may need to accept this fact of our existence. The bad people who are black have made each of us a target for police in fear of them. Unfortunately, the first thing seen is skin that screams ‘criminal’. Even outnumbered, subdued, running away, handcuffed and in a headlock, a black man most be the most terrifying being on the planet.

Perhaps there is no need for me to write vampires anymore. The greatest terror to trained, armed men sleeps in my bed. His Phd, publications, and years teaching at universities doesn’t matter, his dark skin is the problem, passed onto my advanced-reader son.

~PM Carson writes erotic paranormal romance. When she’s not working on her series, soon to be released, she takes the time to notice the world is trippin’.


The Changing Face of Power

America has a new image, a woman staring down almost impossibly armored riot police in Baton Rouge.

Powerful as this image is in the contemporary setting in which it was taken, what’s more revealing is what it reveals about the changes in our society over time. Let’s imagine this scene playing out at different times.

In the middle ages, protesting against authority would have been viewed as treason. Likely outcome: burned at the stake.

In 1800 in Baton Rouge, an act of defiance like this would have been dealt with as a slave discipline issue. Likely outcome: suspended upside down and whipped until unconscious.

In 1900 this would have been seen as an afront to authority and a black person interfering with white folks business (use of a public road). Likely outcome: brutally dragged off and locked away by a sham court process.

In 1960 this would have been seen as an act of civil disobedience. Likely outcome: arrested and violently dragged off. Probably charged and released unless they could pin something significant on her.

2016? Quietly arrested and a symbol of the protest movement.

Across all time periods if she was armed and prepared to fight? Likely outcome: killed on the spot by the authorities.

Guns don’t make you strong. In fact, the more civilized the society, the less relevant guns become for resolving conflicts. Now, they are a hindrance. Bring a gun, and you undermine your moral position.

Story Inspiration: Where could this end up? Owning a gun becomes proof of antisocial tendencies? Politicians being asked if they owned guns just as currently they get challenged on whether they ever smoked dope?

How are the Cops like an Abusive Spouse?

Wow, read this for some perspective on the current problems with the U.S. police. This author describes U.S. cops (who happened to be presenting to schoolchildren) as saying the same things that abusive spouses do. If we stop you and kill you, it’s your fault…

…go figure.

Writing Inspiration: If the police keep heading down this line,  what would our society look like? Any infraction could have unintended consequences. The Black Lives Matter want equality when being stopped by the police, one form of equality is that everyone gets treated the way they do when stopped!

Who’s got the Power?

Sometimes there’s an image that sums up a conflict. In one moment it frames the conflict revealing a truth that is hard to ignore. The burned girl running from napalm in Vietnam, revealed the brutal and unforgiving impact of modern weapons released onto a rural society. The man standing alone in front of a column of tanks in Tienanmen Square, demonstrated the massive imbalance of power between the protesters and the Chinese government.

America has a new image, a woman staring down almost impossibly armored riot police in Baton Rouge.

The serene, proud and defiant figure that forced the police to come out from their lines and arrest her. What is happening here is on her terms. She holds the power in this photo. The police in their riot gear look over-equipped and all the weaker for it. A couple of normal police officers arresting her would not have had the same impact. It would have seemed too ordinary. What’s happened here is that she has demonstrated the police force’s total overreaction of the police to a people’s plea to be safe. It’s almost as if they are at war with their own people and she’s called it out.

The thing about these iconic photos is that they stay with us forever. They are timeless but for those that remember the event, the image will bring us right back to these times. And who knows when and how this will end. I hope that these events lead to meaningful change, that people with darker skin are safer from the overreaction of a highly strung police force. That the police return to the role that they should play, from enforcer to protector. That people stop dying needlessly. That people can stop living in fear of the people that are supposed to protect them. That this image represent a turning point.

African Americans have come a long way in gaining their civil rights. They can vote, get an education, becomes doctors, lawyers or movie stars. They can lead armies. One of their number can even rise to the highest office in the land. It seems ironic that the last bastion of rights they have to fight for is for their lives to be treated equally to those of white people.

What it Says on the Tin

The Dallas shootings are wrong. In my opinion, there is nothing that justifies them. But they have happened and that means someone has decided that they are justified enough to take matters into their own hands. That someone has now been identified as someone carrying a lot of anger. Someone who also had access to firearms. In short, motivation (in their own mind) and means.

The result is an all to familiar mass killing via assault rifle.

There are many, many social issues underlying what is going on in the States at the moment. All this stuff would work out over time and in a civilized manner except only in the United States do they add guns to the mix.

The U.S. is only one of three countries that has a constitution that enshrines the right to bear arms. The other two are Mexico and Guatemala. Only the United States doesn’t have limitations over the right included in its constitution. Guns for just about everybody.

The historical story behind the second amendment is that it was enshrined after the American Revolution as one of the lessons learned after fighting the English, they only had a chance because they had guns. The justification is that arms are a requirement for a well organized and effective militia. This includes the argument to deter or oppose oppression.

Well, I can’t speak on behalf of others by if you have a mass outrage at a string of injustices, then it doesn’t stretch belief that some would view that as a form of oppression and chances are, that’s what happened in this case. It doesn’t make it right. It makes it tragic that events gave the motivation and the constitution enshrined the means. The tragedy in Dallas is in no way justified but it is the second amendment in action.

If you you can’t stop fear or anger or hate, at least stop escalating it with guns. It’s a democracy, you have other ways to let your citizens solve problems.

It’s not my country but, from a distance, it’s tragic to watch as these events repeat themselves. Tragic and needless.