When Black Lives Didn't Matter

I have a racial bias.

To be clear, I am NOT a racist.

But I was born with a racial bias.  I was raised with a racial bias.  I was educated with a racial bias.  And I will die with a racial bias.  When I see a dark-skinned stranger on the street, the first thing I see is the color of their skin which, unfortunately, I associate with their 'race'.

To be fair to myself, though, within milliseconds I perforate that bias and acknowledge the sanctity of their soul, their life's burden, and the one race we all share.

Obviously, not everyone feels the same.

The following is a list of "law enforced" racial killings[1] committed in a single decade. In every case the victim

I've chosen to limit the list count to about 50. The average age of the victims is 29 years.  The oldest was 50, the youngest was 7.  Most died from police gunfire.  In the cases of Natasha McKenna, Kalief Browder, Terrill Thomas and Sandra Bland it was criminal abuse and neglect within the system that drove each to their death.  In only 16% of the cases was the "law enforcing" perpetrator (or perpetrators) convicted of their crime.

Each in this list died because of their race.

Say their names.   Say their names.

Name Age Date Location Armed? Conviction?
Rayshard Brooks 27 06/12/2020 Atlanta, GA No ?
George Floyd 46 05/25/2020 Minneapolis, MN No ?
Maurice Gordon 28 05/23/2020 Bass River, NJ No ?
Steven Demarco Taylor 33 04/23/2020 San Leandro, CA No ?
Breonna Taylor 26 03/13/2020 Louisville, KY No ?
Darius Tarver 23 01/21/2020 Denton, TX No No
Atatiana Jefferson 28 10/12/2019 Fort Worth, TX No ?
Elijah McClain 23 08/24/2019 Aurora, CO No No
Dominique Clayton 32 05/18/2019 Oxford, MS No ?
Pamela Turner 44 05/13/2019 Baytown, TX No No
Botham Jean 26 09/06/2018 Dallas, TX No Yes
Antwon Rose II 17 06/19/2018 East Pittsurgh, PA No No
Danny Ray Thomas 34 03/23/2018 Houston, TX No No
Stephon Clark 22 03/18/2018 Sacramento, CA No No
Jordan Edwards 15 04/29/2017 Balch Springs, TX No No
Quanice Hayes 17 02/09/2017 Portland, OR No No
Keith Lamont Scott 43 09/20/2016 Charlotte, NC No No
Terence Crutcher 40 09/16/2016 Tulsa, OK No No
Terrence Sterling 31 09/11/2016 Washington, DC No No
Charles Kinsey 47 07/18/2016 North Miami, FL No No
Philando Castile 32 07/06/2016 Falcon Heights, MN No No
Alton Sterling 37 07/05/2016 Baton Rouge, LA No No
Delrawn Small 37 07/04/2016 Brooklyn, NY No No
Dylan Noble 19 06/25/2016 Fresno, CA No No
Jamar Clark 24 11/15/2015 Minneapolis, MN No No
Corey Jones 31 10/18/2015 Palm Beach Gardens, FL No Yes
Samuel Dubose 43 07/19/2015 Cincinnati, OH No No
Sandra Bland 28 07/13/2015 Hempstead, TX No No
Kalief Browder 22 06/06/2015 The Bronx, NY No No
Terrill Thomas 38 04/24/2016 Milwaukee, WI No Yes
William Chapman II 18 04/22/2015 Portsmouth, VA No Yes
Freddie Gray 25 04/19/2015 Baltimore, MD No Yes
Walter Scott 50 04/04/2015 North Charleston, SC No No
Mya Hall 27 03/30/2015 Ft. Meade, MD No No
Nicholas Thomas 23 03/24/2015 Smyrna, GA No No
Anthony Hill 26 03/09/2015 Chamblee, GA No Yes
Tony Robinson 19 03/06/2015 Madison, WI No No
Natasha McKenna 37 02/08/2015 Alexandria, VA No No
Frank Smart 39 01/05/2015 Pittsburgh, PA No No
Kevin Davis 44 12/31/2014 DeKalb Cty, GA No No
Jerame Reid 36 12/30/2014 Bridgeton, NJ No No
Rumain Brisbon 34 12/02/2014 Phoenix, AZ No No
Tamir Rice 12 11/22/2014 Cleveland, OH No No
Akai Gurley 28 11/20/2014 Brooklyn, NY No Yes
Tanisha Anderson 37 11/13/2014 Cleveland, OH No No
Laquan McDonald 17 10/20/2014 Chicago, IL No Yes
Dante Parker 36 08/12/2014 Victorville, CA No No
Michael Brown Jr. 18 08/09/2014 Ferguson, MO No No
John Crawford III 22 08/05/2014 Beavercreek, OH No No
Eric Garner 43 07/17/2014 Staten Island, NY No No
Yvette Smith 47 02/16/2014 Bastrop, TX No No
Johnathan Ferrell 24 09/14/2013 Charlotte, NC No No
Rekia Boyd 22 03/21/2012 Chicago, IL No No
Aiyana Jones 7 05/16/2010 Detroit, MI No No

[1]    By only selecting cases where law enforcement was involved, I had to eliminate such "stand your ground" cases as Trayvon Martin and more recently Ahmaud Arbery, Calvin L Horton Jr and James Scurlock. On the other side of the law enforcement point in question there's Merak Burr who's lucky he's white, otherwise I doubt he'd be a live today.

Law enforcement isn't the only societal institution where systemic racism costs black lives. For example there's the case of Dr. Susan Black, emblematic of the higher rates of incidence, hospitalization and death due to COVID-19 among people of color.

A just society would not discriminate against any person because of an accident of birth.