Thoughts on Sean Bell by admin | Apr 26, 2008 | Black Power, Crime and Punishment, Racial Politics, Urban Politics | 1 comment The Surge: Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window) Related 1 Comment Mark on April 27, 2008 at 4:07 am I remember you talked about this in class when it first happened in 2006. It’s a shame it turned out like this. There’s no point crucifying the officers, but as far as norms, rules, and regulations go, they’ve desecrated their badges and at the very, very least should no longer be police officers in New York City. This also reminds me of how you talked about how Rosa Parks was cherry picked in a way, because she had a far more publicly palatable background for the Civil Rights Movement. I think moreso than with Rodney King, Sean Bell’s background and the presence of Al Sharpton doomed any chance that this travesty has of gaining any real traction with the public. Too many will simply say “he shouldn’t have had friends like that” or “he should have listened to the officers” or “Al Sharpton is using this to fuel his ego” or “he made his bed now he has to lie in it” or “he was a thug/gangsta/drug dealer and he deserves what he gets”. And you know what, in some ways these “rational discriminators” who want to blame the victim are right, but it doesn’t change the fact that a man who was innocent in this particular situation got killed, entirely due to the neglectful and excessive use of force of five (mostly just one) police officer. It doesn’t matter that Sean Bell wasn’t a model citizen. He didn’t “deserve” to die, but as far as the public is concerned, he’s not saintly enough to warrant much moral indignation. It’s a damn shame.