Here’s a test – See if you can spot “the Thug” of whom you are so afraid that it is necessary to use lethal force before being fully aware of the entire situation? Now, for number one on the list, is it This Person?
If you guessed that this man is a Thug, you’ve missed by a mile. Actually, he’s the Principal Clarinet for the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Mr. Anthony McGill. He’s performed with both Itzhak Perlman and Yo Yo Ma. He also serves on the faculties of the Julliard School.
Let’s see if we can find someone else who might “fit the profile” of a dangerous person likely to do great bodily harm. Here’s another one:
Did you guess that this person is dangerous? Then you’re wrong again. He is Leland D. Melvin, an American engineer, an astronaut who served on the Atlantis, and was NASA’s Associate Administrator for Education. He’s associated with the Robotics Branch of the Astronaut Office.
Missed two for two? Here’s another individual who might be mistaken for a “dangerous” person if clad in a sweatshirt and running shoes…
Wrong Again! This is Hank Willis Thomas, a professional photographer with a CV to envy!. His work has been exhibited from Texas to Germany, and he holds degrees from the California College of the Arts (2) and New York University. The only thing he’s liable to shoot is an award winning photograph.
Oh, well, one can’t be too careful, after all there really are dangerous people out there… maybe this is one of them?
Ooops! Definitely. Not. This. One. This is a photo of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, one of our up and coming new authors. He’s the Obie winner for “Appropriate” and “The Octoroon,” in 2014 for his Off Broadway plays. He’s rattled a few cages, including incorporating black-face in one of his plays, but the New York Times critic seems to believe he has a ‘future’ ahead of him. Four out of four wrong?
We’ll try one more, to see if we can play “Spot The Thug.” Here’s a man wearing sunglasses, could he be “A Thug?”
And, if you said, “yes,” then you’ll have missed on all five, because this is Tony Rose, the founder and owner of Amber Books, the largest publisher of African American Self Help books and music biographies. However, anyone playing along could see where all this was going.
These are not famous ball players, or television personalities, or entertainers who might be easily recognized. And, perhaps because they don’t have the fame of a Russell Wilson, or a LeBron James, or a Michael Dyson, they might be mistaken for “One of Those People?”
What has people worried is that one of these days the person killed by a fearful law enforcement officer could be the next Anthony McGill, or Leland Melvin, or Hank Willis Thomas, or Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, or Tony Rose… Think of how much less our society might be without the businessmen, musicians, engineers, photographers, and playwrights coming of age now?
Perhaps not all of the victims of lethal force would eventually emulate these models, but what if there were just one?