When a Nation Has No Conscience

Susan K. Smith | 7/13/2016, 6 a.m.
What happens when a nation has no conscience? Even as the country is grappling with the fact that two Black ...
Protesters outside the governor's mansion in St. Paul, Minnesota, following the shooting death of Philando Castile. Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

What happens when a nation has no conscience?

Even as the country is grappling with the fact that two Black men were killed by

White police officers within 48 hours of each other, so many people in positions

of power have said little, if anything.

As some were trying to deal with the tragic shooting death of Alton Sterling, we

were jolted yet another time as we watched the Facebook "Live" account of the shooting death of Philando Castile in Minnesota. Police stopped this man's car because he had a broken taillight and Castile, trying to conform to expectations of police when stopped, apparently did everything right, yet a police officer shot him multiple times. As he moaned, his body bloodied and his arm severely mangled, his girlfriend "told the story" of what happened. To make matters worse, the girlfriend was ordered out of the car, told to keep her hands up, was handcuffed and put into a police car, and her 4-year-old daughter was taken away in a separate patrol car.

In the case of Sterling, his 15-year-old son broke down as his mother tried to give

an account to the media of what happened. He didn't cry. He sobbed. Audibly. His

anguish was palpable.

And the powers that be have said little, if anything. They are more concerned about

Hillary Clinton's emails than they are about the lives of two people snuffed out

by what looks to be reckless police behavior. There has been no outpouring of concern or compassion by political leaders.

It is curiously painful to me how this nation treats people of color, how the majority

population still treats people of African descent, as though they really are only

a fraction of a human being. Part of the reason so many Blacks are killed by police

as compared to Whites is because Whites operate in a bubble of White supremacy that makes them automatically denounce and denigrate Black people and treat them like objects without feelings.

Police didn't see 12-year-old Tamir Rice as a young kid, nor did they treat Eric

Garner like he was a human being. On the other hand, they took care to take Dylann

Roof, who massacred nine people in a church in South Carolina, to a Burger King

to get something to eat before they took him to the police station to be booked

for murder.

Any nation whose majority population can look at a wife or mother tell a heartbreaking story of unfair stop and seizure, which cannot relate to the cries of a young, 4-year-old child trying to comfort her distraught mother, who cannot understand that people of color are in fact human beings with feelings, has no conscience, and a nation without a conscience is bound to ultimately fall and fail.

Germans during the Holocaust looked at Jewish people not as people but as objects,

objects that obstructed the will of the Anglo-Saxons. Consequently, Germans were

able to indiscriminately kill millions of people. They could do that because they