Jon Stewart reaction to Eric Garner case
Jon Stewart expressed the sense of exasperation that many of us feel over the non-indictment of Daniel Pantaleo, the police officer that killed Eric Garner. His statements hit the mark in more ways than one.
I honestly don’t know what to say. If tragedy is comedy plus time, I need more fucking time,” Jon Stewart said. “But I would really settle for less tragedy to be honest with you. You know I think what is so utterly depressing, is that none of the ambiguities that exist in the Ferguson case, exist in the Staten Island case. And yet the outcome is exactly the same, no crime, no trial, all harm no foul. In Ferguson at least you had conflicting witness testimony. You had conflicting forensics. You had the specter of at least police self-defense. But here there is none of that. The coroner called it a homicide. The guy is not acting threatening and we know that no through witness testimony, unreliable bystanders but because we are fucking watching it. Someone taped it. A couple days ago the Whitehouse proposed more cameras on cop vests as a solution to this type of violence. I suppose that the solution they are proposing if implemented would look something like the Eric Garner case. I mean maybe to look at the bright side, we are about to save ourselves a shitload of money on cop camera vests. But damn, we are definitely not living in a post racial society. And can imagine there are a lot of people out there wondering, how much of a society we are living in at all.”
Yesterday I wrote the blog post titled “Eric Garner case proves not even video of a Black man being executed by police can get an indictment” that made some of the points Jon Stewart made. But I think the most important statement in that post that needs to be digested is the following.
The grand jury is made up of our peers. It is our peers who have seen it fit to allow police officers to get away with the murder of Black men. It is our peers that are actively manufacturing realities to justify their intrinsic prejudice, a prejudice that allows many to throw most of the blame on Black men in order keep their conscience cleared.
As a Black, as a Latino man, as a Caribbean man, I tell you all, change will only come when those who think the death of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and the deaths of other Black men by cop is the death of one of their own loved ones. This is not a cancer within the police. The police is just the metastasis of the cancer.
I hope we are looking at ourselves from within. The rest of the world is looking from without and our credibility as a bastion of democracy and fairness is fast eroding.