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Thread: Shooting of George Nkencho

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    The Indo this weekend had a small supplement on race in Ireland this weekend as a result of this case actually. The main article started off by referencing the George Floyd case, even though really it has no similarities with the Nkencho case other than the Christian name and skin colour of the victim. There's then a few phrases in it which are I think at best unhelpful.

    After a difficult year, clear footage of a black man being shot by a police force was understandably traumatising for the black Irish community.
    This just racialises an unfortunate case which ultimately seems to have nothing to do with race. Why not say "clear footage of a man being shot by a police force he was trying to attack with a kitchen knife, having been asked time and again to put the weapon down"? Why is it relevant to bring the guy's race into it? And again, we have that too-vague phrase "black Irish community", as if all blacks are the same.

    But if Nkencho’s race had not been a factor in his death, racism very quickly played a major role in the public response to it. [...] "Media coverage called him a thug, people were spreading posts incorrectly claiming he had dozens of previous convictions, that he had attacked his girlfriend, that he had a machete"
    A person who assaults a shop manager and sends him to hospital, then takes out a kitchen knife he happened to have on him and threatens the public and the Gardaí with it, can absolutely be called is a thug.

    But social media is an equal-opportunities ****-stirrer - that's well known. It's a cesspit in general. Why would someone believe a rumour that Nkencho had dozens of convictions? Probably (a) because he went to a shop with a kitchen knife, put the manager in hospital and threatened the public and the Gardaí with the knife, and (b) because there's an unfortunate number of crimes in this country which do involve people with multiple convictions. Were they believed because Nkencho was black? I'm sure some believed them for that reason, but the former two reasons have to be far more likely.

    The other two claims are incorrect, albeit in the "no smoke without fire" category (he was carrying a large knife, and had a protection order from his own family). But if you want to complain about the machete rumour (and it's a legitimate complaint), then you have to reference the counter-comments which spread saying it was a butter knife.

    Bankole says that it’s “unfortunate” that the job of educating white Irish people about racism has fallen to black Irish people, but said it isn’t reasonable to expect unconscious bias or even ignorance about racism to have been unravelled in the months since George Floyd’s death. But, he added that white people have a responsibility to want to learn.
    This is a really patronising comment, particularly in the context of the material omissions and the bias in some of the comments above.

    There's then a load of stuff on Direct Provision - "the epitome of institutional racism in Ireland" - which is outside the scope of this thread really.

    The concern I'd have is that this continual racialising of the case will just lead to further protests when GSOC ultimately give their findings - either the Gardaí acted correctly or they didn't, but both will lead to protests about racism even though there's as yet no evidence racism played any part in this. It's just unhelpfully divisive.



    For me, one question which does remain open at the moment is the one in the Examiner about the fifth shot fired. The first four were fired quickly, which is probably fair enough because in real life, one shot to the torso alone probably won't stop someone, and you can't wait after each shot to check if the guy is or isn't coming at someone with a knife still. The fifth shot was a couple of seconds later. Was it the shot which ultimately killed Nkencho? Was the shot justified?

    The guy's race and the mental health crisis and even where he was living at the time are all side-shows - you can't attack the Gardaí with a kitchen knife.

    Other than that, the difference in how this case has been reported compared to the Mark Hennessy case (the previous Garda shooting) needs a bit of analysis. You wonder what the shop keeper who was assaulted and the people who were threatened with a kitchen knife are making of all this.
    Last edited by pineapple stu; 10/01/2021 at 11:42 AM.

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    Banned. Children Banned. Grandchildren Banned. 3 Months. Charlie Darwin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    "Far right are promoting", "other fascists" - I'm not sure why you're so keen to attack the poster and not the post.
    Are you asking why I'm so keen to attack the far right?

    Either the video is legit (and it appears to be) or it's not. This has been covered before.
    I don't think anyone suggested it wasn't.

    I didn't say the comments like "Die you white *******s" was a commonly-held view. But it is a view that has been expressed. Saying there's no-one who looks like you to talk to is absolutely racist - you are judging someone on their race and deciding you can't talk to them. So there is racism here.
    I didn't hear anybody say they couldn't talk to anybody who doesn't look like them. What they said was they don't see anybody who looks like them in the Gardaí and you can imagine why that might affect how comfortable they are interacting with them. If you think that's racist then you have a lot to learn about what it's like for people who aren't the majority like us.

    But the point you keep missing is that a "perception" of injustice isn't worth anything if there's no evidence whatsoever for it.
    You're viewing this as a completely intellectual exercise. If people have the perception of injustice and that influences their behaviour and their lives, then yes it absolutely is worth something. They might be completely wrong, but it has affected real life.

    You suggested listening to what black people (with the caveat again that it's a misleading phrase) - and I am, and I'm hearing racism, I'm hearing very vague complaints of an unsubstantiated nature, I'm hearing no real reason for protests, no real reason why the reaction to this case is so different to the Mark Hennessy case. Maybe they're there for sure - but if they are, why is it so hard to articulate them?
    Why do you need an immediate answer? Why is listening to people without being provided with a vacuum-packed, all-consuming answer not worthwhile in itself? Community relations is not accountancy - you can't point to a spreedsheet and say "well in fact, this is the answer" and then everybody agrees. It's a process.

    No, it's in the video - black people won't have equality until they can hold land. Again, a minority view I'm sure, but it's another voice to add to the bundle when I go looking.
    "Black people won't have equality until they can hold land" is not "black people can't own land." And I'm not even sure that's what he said but I can't watch the video because the person who posted it is a far-right extremist and got their account deleted.

    I think you've completely misrepresented what I've tried to do by quoting black voices (objection to the phrase taken as read by now). I've taken a variety and considered what each has to say about the reason behind the protests and the reaction. Not one has any valid reason as far as I can see. Not one. I'm more than happy to hear other voices - the majority in fairness probably recognise this case for what it is - but in the absence of any voices corroborating your view that there is injustice there which is making them this angry, it's not a view that logically can be subscribed to.
    Exactly what variety of black voices have you taken here? Did you actually have a conversation with anyone?

    Yes - so why are you still bringing racism into it? If Nkencho was shot because he had a "mental health crisis" - and again, I don't know what that term means - while brandishing a kitchen knife, then where's the racism?
    I genuinely don't know why you can't go and find out what a mental health crisis is, especially as it's not that hard to work out. But again, it baffles me that you think somebody who is not acting in their right mind can't be a victim of racism.

    Do you think there was racism at play in the shooting?
    I don't know. I can't make that conclusion with the small amount of evidence that is out there. And I would say anybody who claims there isn't racism involved is similar.

    What other media? Genuinely interested here. As it stands, your quote can't trump the Sunday Times report (which was one of the earliest reports to show some proper reporting, raising the protection order issue first, for example)
    Well here's one for a start: https://www.irishexaminer.com/news/s...-40201541.html

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    Banned. Children Banned. Grandchildren Banned. 3 Months. Charlie Darwin's Avatar
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    I have a genuine question for you, Stu. Do you think black people in Ireland have any reason to be upset about what happened?

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    I think this is a very well put together article; https://www.irishtimes.com/news/crim...urbs-1.4452459

    It gives some insight from George's peers, particularly the fact that the racist abuse the football team got was so bad at times they needed plain clothes guards at the games to make sure it didn't get out of hand. Interesting comparison to the reaction to the killing of Toyosi ****tabey, within the same community and how Garda outreach probably helped to mediate it.

    Also, points to changes in Garda outreach in the area and how that may have impacted on events this time around. Interesting perspectives from the protesters too, from the view that even if this killing is not about racism, it's worth taking action to hopefully prevent racist killings in the future, or that issues with policing are as much about class as about race.

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Darwin View Post
    I have a genuine question for you, Stu. Do you think black people in Ireland have any reason to be upset about what happened?
    No. It's not a race issue.

    Do you think black people in Ireland have any reason to be upset about what happened? Why/why not?
    Last edited by pineapple stu; 12/01/2021 at 4:19 PM.

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Darwin View Post
    Are you asking why I'm so keen to attack the far right?
    No, I'm asking why you're ignoring what's been said in the the actual video to bring the twitter account (who didn't film or create the video) into it. But well done on Cathy Newman-ing yourself - "So what you're saying is..." followed by something I didn't say at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Darwin View Post
    I didn't hear anybody say they couldn't talk to anybody who doesn't look like them. What they said was they don't see anybody who looks like them in the Gardaí and you can imagine why that might affect how comfortable they are interacting with them.
    They didn't say they can't talk to anybody who looks like them, they just said there's nobody who looks like them and they can't really talk to them? I mean, that's the same thing, and yes, it is racist.

    You go into a police station anywhere in the world and say you don't want to deal with a black policeman because of how he looks and see how far you get.

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Darwin View Post
    Exactly what variety of black voices have you taken here? Did you actually have a conversation with anyone?
    To be honest Charlie, your line of argument is getting a bit tedious here. You posed the question at the start of this about why black voices (sic) are being ignored in all this. So I've gone out and listened to people actually protesting, people quoted in the media, local community representatives, and the family. None of them have made any particularly valid arguments, and I've given lots of examples of why I think that to be the case. Do you really want me to go to the Ugandan fella in my estate and say "Hey, you've dark skin. What do you think of that dark-skinned person getting shot in another county?"? I'm sure he loves being mistaken for Nigerian all the time - sure all them black people are the same, what?

    (Actually, I'm sure he realises this had nothing to do with race, and that if anyone waves a large knife dangerously at the Gardaí having been repeatedly asked to put it down, that they really only have themselves to blame for what happens next)

    All you've done is say those voices I've highlighted don't count for some reason. You seem to think that your opinion or experience is ipso facto the only valid one (and you've done this on other topics too) That's not how debating works. If you've something to bring to the table to counter the points I've raised, I'm all ears. But your posts so far have been very silly.
    Last edited by pineapple stu; 12/01/2021 at 4:25 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    No. It's not a race issue.
    I'm in Charlie's camp on this one. I don't think we can make a black and white statement that "no it's not a race issue". Ok, by all appearances, it's not an overtly racist killing. The victim is not being racially abused etc. but we can't completely rule out the possibility that there's not a subconscious bias there, most of the US killings that gave rise to BLM were not overtly racist, but it's clear that there's a deep lying cultural racism built into a lot if US policing.

    The fact that this killing happened at a time when BLM and racism in general are such high profile issues, has meant that there are inevitably questions about racism in Irish society. We're miles behind the likes of the US and the UK in terms of racial diversity, but incidents like this may well bring to light issues that we can tackle now in order to not hit the massive issues seen in the US the UK and elsewhere.

    I don't think we can dictate to the family and friends of George Nkencho that they shouldn't think this is a race issue, or ask questions of the policing of what happened in order to determine if there was any potential errors of judgement, or actions that may not have happened if he wasn't black. I personally don't think it looks like a race issue at this stage, but I think all avenues should be investigated and lessons learned. An if there are failings in community outreach they should also be investigated.

    I think the current movement about women in sport is not dissimilar to the point made about black youths not seeing people who look like them in the Guards. It's a pretty valid point that "if you can't see it you can't be it." Out institutions are quite slow at evolving to reflect the diversity of our communities, you can see plenty of examples of the integration of the growing black community into sports etc. but there are far less into policing, politics, teaching etc. Much like the efforts required to address gender balance and encourage diversity there's a need to ensure similar efforts are made with racial diversity. There's no point in pretending we're not a much more racially diverse country now, it's not something that's going to change, so we need to try and learn from mistakes made elsewhere rather than exacerbating tensions.

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    I've no problems letting the GSOC investigation check if there was a race issue. Obviously we don't know all the facts here, etc, etc - but at present, there is no indication it was a race issue. None. This was someone who went down the shops with a knife, assaulted the shop manager and put him in hospital, threatened others with the knife, ignored the Gardaí who went to deal with the situation, and then lunged at the them with the knife. All of that is being overshadowed by the guy's skin colour. The Gardaí here are almost guilty until proven innocent. That's not rational or helpful.

    The other problem I have with the protests - and most of the comments I've quoted here from people who feel there's a protest to be made don't stand up to rational analysis - is that they assume outright that there's a racial bias, and that's not acceptable either; it helps creates a victim complex where can start to see bias against you when nothing's there.

    Counting skin colours in high qualification positions like politics as well is unhelpful. You end up going down the same error-prone route as elsewhere by taking skin colour as something all-defining, when it really isn't.

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    Is there not more in common here with John Carthy in Abbeylara twenty years ago than anything else? We don't have a trigger-happy police force, but members don't face these situations frequently enough to build up experience of handling them.
    Hello, hello? What's going on? What's all this shouting, we'll have no trouble here!
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    International Prospect osarusan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eminence Grise View Post
    We don't have a trigger-happy police force, but members don't face these situations frequently enough to build up experience of handling them.
    This would not surprise me. Even with their training, ARU members would very very rarely be called upon to actually use their weapons. I can imagine a scenario where they used their pepper spray and taser too quickly/at the wrong moment, out of inexperience or nerves or panic, and as a result, they've no weapons left but lethal ones.

    But I don't see where police bias against black people comes into play in this incident. Another thing is that these shootings are so incredibly rare here that there's not really even anything to even compare it to in terms of response by Gardai, which is in itself a positive thing.

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    FWIW, I saw a guy get tasered 18 months ago:* he went down like he’d been hit by a truck. But this from NPR highlights that tasers are not nearly as effective as you’d think – 250 cases in three years where a taser didn’t incapacitate. Misfires, one or both darts getting snagged on clothes, firing from too close or too far, there’s a lot that can go wrong. There’s also some evidence, though this kind of stuff is way outside my understanding, that some psychoses or PTSD can trigger hyper reactions where adrenaline floods the body and makes it appear that the person has abnormal or superhuman strength.

    I can’t say any of those happened here, but considering them adds another layer of complexity and makes for a far more nuanced story than simply being a racial incident.



    *Fun story: he’d crashed his car, stolen another and been chased by a squad car, until he abandoned the stolen car and fled on foot to six doors down from where Mrs Grise and I had moved in a week earlier. Mum was visiting the house for the first time and opened the front door to leave … to see 20 Guards, many armed, half a dozen vehicles and an apparent psycho slashing himself with a knife. Then the tasering happened.
    ‘I thought you said this was a quiet neighbourhood,’ she said.
    Mind you, she grew up in Moss Side. There's not much that fazes her.
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    Banned. Children Banned. Grandchildren Banned. 3 Months. Charlie Darwin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    No. It's not a race issue.

    Do you think black people in Ireland have any reason to be upset about what happened? Why/why not?
    I think if they're upset, it's not without reason. That doesn't mean anybody did anything wrong in this case.

    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    No, I'm asking why you're ignoring what's been said in the the actual video to bring the twitter account (who didn't film or create the video) into it. But well done on Cathy Newman-ing yourself - "So what you're saying is..." followed by something I didn't say at all.
    Jesus Christ, Stu. It was posted from a racist account. I'm not accusing you of being one but it's at least interesting enough to point out.

    They didn't say they can't talk to anybody who looks like them, they just said there's nobody who looks like them and they can't really talk to them? I mean, that's the same thing, and yes, it is racist.
    Again, the video is gone so I can't watch it again, but I mean I don't think it'd be beyond the bounds of possibility that the guy doesn't feel comfortable talking about certain things to white cops. IF that's racist to you, fair enough.

    You go into a police station anywhere in the world and say you don't want to deal with a black policeman because of how he looks and see how far you get.
    If you think those examples are equivalent, fine.

    To be honest Charlie, your line of argument is getting a bit tedious here. You posed the question at the start of this about why black voices (sic) are being ignored in all this. So I've gone out and listened to people actually protesting, people quoted in the media, local community representatives, and the family. None of them have made any particularly valid arguments, and I've given lots of examples of why I think that to be the case. Do you really want me to go to the Ugandan fella in my estate and say "Hey, you've dark skin. What do you think of that dark-skinned person getting shot in another county?"? I'm sure he loves being mistaken for Nigerian all the time - sure all them black people are the same, what?
    No, you're being glib now and it's unbecoming. There's no shortage of black experiences out there, abroad as well as in Ireland, that can be sought out if you like. But, look, you've considered the ones you have come across and decided they're not valid, so fair enough.

    All you've done is say those voices I've highlighted don't count for some reason. You seem to think that your opinion or experience is ipso facto the only valid one (and you've done this on other topics too) That's not how debating works. If you've something to bring to the table to counter the points I've raised, I'm all ears. But your posts so far have been very silly.
    I didn't say a single voice didn't count. And I absolutely don't think my opinion or experience is the one that counts here. In fact, it's the opposite of the one I'm making.

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Darwin View Post
    Jesus Christ, Stu. It was posted from a racist account. I'm not accusing you of being one but it's at least interesting enough to point out.
    Again - who cares what account it was posted from? It either happened or it didn't. The account holder didn't create the video or edit it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Darwin View Post
    I think if they're upset, it's not without reason. That doesn't mean anybody did anything wrong in this case.
    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Darwin View Post
    There's no shortage of black experiences out there, abroad as well as in Ireland, that can be sought out if you like. But, look, you've considered the ones you have come across and decided they're not valid, so fair enough.
    Ah here - there's nothing whatsoever in those arguments. You raised the point at the start as to why black voices (sic) were being ignored. I've highlighted lots of them, and concerns with what they're saying. You're just sitting there saying "No, that doesn't count", while offering literally nothing to back up your view point.

    Have you actually got a point or haven't you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    Again - who cares what account it was posted from? It either happened or it didn't. The account holder didn't create the video or edit it.
    I don't think anyone is saying the account did create it, or edit it, but they chose to share it online because it supported their opinion.
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    Banned. Children Banned. Grandchildren Banned. 3 Months. Charlie Darwin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    Again - who cares what account it was posted from? It either happened or it didn't. The account holder didn't create the video or edit it.



    Ah here - there's nothing whatsoever in those arguments. You raised the point at the start as to why black voices (sic) were being ignored. I've highlighted lots of them, and concerns with what they're saying. You're just sitting there saying "No, that doesn't count", while offering literally nothing to back up your view point.

    Have you actually got a point or haven't you?
    Stu, my post you reference literally has me saying I am not saying anybody's view doesn't count. I don't know where you're getting this from.

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tetsujin1979 View Post
    I don't think anyone is saying the account did create it, or edit it, but they chose to share it online because it supported their opinion.
    It.

    Doesn't.

    Matter.

    Is the video real or not?

    Pretty much every video on social media has been shared by some nutjob. It doesn't invalidate the video.

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    It really does. Before their account was closed, that majority of content shared by that user was clearly racist, so it's not unreasonable to come to the conclusion that the video was shared by them because it was also fit in with their views, and was racist.

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Darwin View Post
    Stu, my post you reference literally has me saying I am not saying anybody's view doesn't count. I don't know where you're getting this from.
    You've dismissed the protester's voice because (bizarrely) of someone who shared the video on social media.

    You've dismissed the criticisms of the protesters/family members/activists/community leaders' comments by just "Exactly what variety of black voices have you taken here? Did you actually have a conversation with anyone?"

    You were the one who suggested black voices (sic) were being ignored, and yet when I highlight them, you're happy to ignore them. You are quite clearly saying that these voices don't count.

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tetsujin1979 View Post
    It really does. Before their account was closed, that majority of content shared by that user was clearly racist, so it's not unreasonable to come to the conclusion that the video was shared by them because it was also fit in with their views, and was racist.
    If the video is real, then it doesn't matter if Donald Trump himself shared the video. It's still a black protester in the aftermath of this death making racist comments about how he can't go to the Gardaí because none of them look like him, or spouting nonsense about 100 Irish people getting reparations for losing their slaves 170 years ago, and other irrelevancies.

    It's still a black person (sic) justifying their protests with comments that simply don't stack up to any sort of rational thought. So it is entirely reasonable to introduce that video into a discussion as to whether black people's grievances are legitimate. Because his clearly aren't. (And others' aren't either)

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    Quote Originally Posted by tetsujin1979 View Post
    It really does. Before their account was closed, that majority of content shared by that user was clearly racist, so it's not unreasonable to come to the conclusion that the video was shared by them because it was also fit in with their views, and was racist.
    This doesn't even mean anything tbh. The idea that it can be dismissed simply because of who shared it, or their motivation for sharing it, is meaningless, and that's coming from somebody who agrees that orlared is/was utter filth.

    The video contains a 'black voice' (to use the terminology being used here). It's not the only one, and I don't think they represent more than a handful of loons/sh!tstirrers/opportunists, but it's a voice nonetheless.

    I wouldn't necessarily agree that the guy saying none of the Gardai look like him is making a racist comment though. I think that's a very literal interpretation of it, when what he really means is that as a minority, he doesn't feel that he can be sure he will get a fair deal from members of the majority. It's the same sentiment you might hear from a Palestinian when visiting an Israeli police station, or a gay man trying to report a homophobic attack in some deeply religious community.

    The real question is whether there is any merit to that sentiment. It may well be the case that black people, or any other minority, face discrimination by the police. But there needs to be evidence presented to that effect, and even then, there needs to be evidence presented that the shooting of Nkencho was as a result of that discrimination.

    Claiming it doesn't make it so, and as I've said from the very start, I think this is a very unsuitable incident to use to try and advance the argument that this discrimination does exist.
    Last edited by osarusan; 15/01/2021 at 10:47 PM.

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