Ear Hustle

Are People Going Through The 7 Stages Of Denial When Blacks Are Killed By The Police??

This is a very interesting article EarHustle411 came across and we are understanding the 7 stages of denial or grief particularly when the death of a loved one is involved.  The emotions one feels and expresses can vary with the 7 stages and sometimes the person does not go through all 7 but they do go through the stage.  Laquan McDonald’s murder has the City of Chicago on edge.  But what is the real reason why people don’t want to admit that there are a significant number of extremely less than professional police officers out there.

Could this same denial be the reason why when blacks are killed by blacks the outrage is there but has a different type of feel to it?  Why was the community not on the same edge with the death of Tyshawn Lee who was gunned down on the same streets of Chicago but by one of his own (meaning a black person).  Don’t get it twisted, there was outrage but it seemed like it was because he just 9-years old and how he was lured and killed but not so much because he was killed by another black person.  Murder is murder isn’t it…does it matter the color of the killer? Well we guess that’s a different post!!

We unfortunately have to agree with the writer…denial is definitely contagious and no medicine on the market can cure that!!

Read more as reported by the Chicago Tribune:


Photo Credit: Abel Uribe


You watched Laquan McDonald die.

You saw the 17-year-old fall to the ground in a haze of dust, his body jerking and twitching on the pavement as a veteran police officer sprayed him with 16 bullets.

This isn’t a story that someone told you; it’s what you saw yourself on the raw, six-minute dash-cam video from a police squad car. It’s the official documentation of what went down that night on a busy street on the Southwest Side of Chicago.

Yet some people refuse to accept the truth.

A significant number of Americans won’t admit that there are some really bad cops out there. No one’s saying it’s all of them or even the majority, but some of those blue uniforms need to be replaced with orange jumpsuits.

If we have learned anything from the previous deaths of other young African-Americans at the hands of police — like Rekia Boyd, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice and Walter Scott — it’s that folks will try to change the narrative.

It’s just a matter of time before McDonald’s story in Chicago is retooled, just as similar ones were in New York City, Ferguson, Mo., Cleveland and North Charleston, S.C.

Some people prefer a more palatable tale, one that doesn’t take too much effort to digest and that doesn’t alter the preconceived notions they have about race and justice. That way, they can continue to live comfortably in the idyllic world they’ve created in their mind — one that hasn’t existed in America for 300 years.

It is easy to spot the people I’m talking about. You hear the doubt in their voices when they talk about the shootings. You read it in their Twitter feed. You hear it in the jokes they crack in the men’s restroom.

They’re the ones who take you aside and say: “The video’s been released. Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke’s been charged with murder. What’s everybody so riled up about?”

Don’t think for a minute that it’s easy to arrive at this oblivious state of insensitivity. Like the seven stages of grief, there are also seven stages of denial for people who refuse to accept that African-Americans are disproportionately slain by officers whose job is to protect and serve.

But unlike grief, denial is a contagious disease that is spread by ignorance and reinforced by talk radio and television pundits. Here are the signs to watch out for:


At this stage, everyone pretty much starts out on the same page. It’s tough for any decent human being to watch another human being shot to death. You are stunned as you watch the video, your mouth flies open, you gasp. At the end of it, you may even close your eyes and place your hand over your heart in sympathy. You are shocked and dismayed that something so awful could happen.


You desperately search for a reason for the officer’s quick-trigger behavior. Since the city can’t afford to hire enough police, maybe he was overworked, stressed out or he cracked under the pressure of being on the mean streets of Chicago day after day. Maybe he has a mental illness. Maybe he served in the Iraq War and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. Any reason you come up with is more logical than first-degree murder.


Maybe you’re being too harsh, you decide. After all, look at Laquan’s pitiful childhood. A father who deserted him, a mom whose boyfriend beat him, a series of foster homes — he was doomed from birth. It’s his poor circumstances and the lack of a decent upbringing that landed him quivering in the middle of the street that night. The poor kid never had a chance at a decent future.


After a day or two of listening to conservative talk radio and TV commentary, you start doubting what you thought you saw on the video. Before long, you’ve convinced yourself that the interpretation of the video is just another ploy by liberals to make the rest of the world think America is a country of lawless villains who get a kick out of picking on disadvantaged minorities. Police brutality is a liberal lie, you tell yourself, and no one can prove otherwise. Police are just doing their job.


After a few more days watching protesters take to the street and hearing pundits describe them as thugs, you begin to switch gears. You see the Rev. Jesse Jackson out there stirring up trouble, blocking the Magnificent Mile and disrupting Black Friday shopping. These race-baiters care nothing about the economy, you say, all they want is to get people stirred up. Why aren’t they protesting black-on-black crime? I guess black lives only matter when one is shot by the police, you surmise.


The victim becomes the assailant. He was a suspect after all, high on PCP and acting crazed. He was breaking into trucks. He had a criminal record. He wasn’t even enrolled in a regular high school; he went to an alternative school. He was an all around bad guy — a threat to society. He was carrying a 3-inch knife. You’re convinced he was in a gang.

Your new reality

Before you know it, the police officer you watched firing 16 gunshots into the teenager’s body becomes the victim, a hero even. You don’t believe in conspiracies and cover-ups, so what the officers originally said happened that night must be true. McDonald lunged at them with a knife. The officer feared for his life. He feared for the lives of the seven other officers on the scene. He feared for the lives of passers-by standing around looking. The cop did everyone a service by getting this thug off the streets. You’ll see, once we hear his side in court.

Everyone may not go through all of the stages or even experience them in the same order. But I can assure you that there are plenty of people already walking around with early symptoms. Now that the Thanksgiving holiday is over and people get back to their normal routine, I fear the sickness will spread quickly.

Denial is a powerful disease. And unfortunately, there is no cure.

Source: Chicago Tribune

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