His name was Micah X. Johnson. He was a man who was upset at the recent murders of Philando Castile by police officers in Minnesota and of Alton Sterling by police officers in Louisiana so he himself killed five police officers in Texas. Or at least that’s how the story is being told at this moment.
Micah X. Johnson was a 25-year-old U.S army veteran who was enraged and did not wish to march, or rally, or block the freeway, or boycott. He wanted to kill. He wanted vengeance. And with this very natural—if not immoral as well as hypocritical—human reaction to feeling victimized there comes tremendous fallout and an almost unprecedented feeling of shock. The fallout because no one wants to align themselves with a murderer, at least not with a television camera and microphone in their face. And the shock because as afraid as the power structure is of black men no one ever expects black people to actually fight back. So on the rare occasion when this does happen it feels as if the moon has risen in the morning and the sun has burned brilliantly through the night. It appears to defy the laws of the universe as they were taught to American blacks.
For we have always taken the trauma that we have endure out on ourselves by ingesting various poisons that temporarily make us forget that we are treated worse than animals. And we have always taken it out on other black people by physically, mentally, and verbally assaulting those nearest to us. But almost never do we raise a hand to the police officers that have the power to kill us with impunity. Instead we break down and implode. Well Micah exploded. Just like when “wild Indians” would kill white settlers for squatting on their land in colonial America and the white man would come back and kill twice as many of them. Just like when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, which led to the United States dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Just like after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 when the U.S. waged war on Iraq. Micah X. Johnson—no matter how disillusioned, no matter how psychotic, no matter how ungodly—wanted for his people, what the white man naturally receives everywhere on the planet. He wanted to be acknowledged as a man. Not as some thing that you can beat up for fun and murder for sport. He wanted police officers to know that there will be consequences for their actions in this lifetime. Micah stood up and now he is dead. Apparently blown apart by a bomb sent to him electronically by the police via a robot.
Alas, it would be as unscrupulous to celebrate the actions of Micah Xavier Johnson, as it would be to lionize a killer like Christopher Scott Kyle. Only the totally depraved would do such a thing. However one should never be afraid to understand the motivation of another human being. For a man that may die for a cause that you do not believe in is still a man. If we truly wish to evolve as a species then we must be reasonable in times of extreme trauma and a heightened sense of pain.