To Ian, #RayTensing’s act wasn’t borne from a lack of love | #BlackLivesMatter on Blog#42

Dear Ian,

I am in receipt of the message you left on my blog post last night. I apologize for not responding more quickly, but I really needed to take the day to think my response through. I will only partially respond to you. Giving you a full answer requires roughly five thousand words of an essay that I am still in the process of writing.

You wrote:


I’ll agree with you that neither officer recognized the humanity of Sam DuBose. Their lack of acknowledgement of it doesn’t stem from some Freudian psychological problem dating back to their childhoods, but from the education they both received from an early age, at home, schools, and in the workplace. They were trained to hate Black bodies from an early age. That is why neither recognized Sam’s human rights. I submit to you that it isn’t that Tensing’s attitude changed with some perception on his part that his authority was being challenged but, rather, that he consciously or subconsciously decided to use Sam’s reaction to being asked to unbuckle his seat-belt as the pretext to extinguish his life.

I don’t follow how you deduce that some lack of affection could possible cause Tensing, or anyone else similarly situated, to translate that deficit into killing Black men. Tensing was attracted to his profession, at least in great part, because something in him needed an outlet for the hate he has been trained to experience. His record as a “proactive officer” indicates a propensity to pursue a particular kind of suspect. Tensing asserted his white supremacy to commit a crime on Sam DuBose because his position of power gave him the cover with which to do it. What he did is a modern-day lynching. What his fellow officers did in lying for him, and it wasn’t their first time doing so, is what should result in charges of being an accessory to murder if Tensing is found guilty. See my other post on calling things by their rightful names.

Thank you for writing to me.


3 thoughts on “To Ian, #RayTensing’s act wasn’t borne from a lack of love | #BlackLivesMatter on Blog#42”

  1. I don’t consider it a deduction as much as an observation based on personal life experiece.

    One has to be loved in order to understand it and by loved I don’t harbor any illusion that a great deal of actual love exists in many American homes. Care for? Yes. Sense of responsibility? Ditto. But how can warm human love and simple respect exist when so much of what we are taught is found in religious illusion? If one has the concept of sin mentally drummed into one’s psyche and this is reinforced with often severe physical discipline and prayer at every meal, when we go to bed and get up, at Sunday school etc., ad nauseam; do you really think he or she will grow to be a balanced let alone thoughtful adult? This isn’t love. This is fear covering disregard.

    I was raised in the Catholic Church and recall clearly, skipping down the steps of Saint Alphonsus Church with a heart so lightened by the experience of my first confession of sins….. at seven years of age!! What could I have possibly confessed? Forgive me father for I have sinned! Was I deluded? The only thing that saved me was the fact my parents as news correspondents both travelled a great deal without my sister and myself who were often left in the care of an elderly Jewish couple, both survivors of the Holocaust. I walked back from the grocery store carrying potatoes with the old man one day and when we approached the house he asked me to help him inside. Mr. Baier lay down on the couch and died within minutes. I was about ten or eleven and it was the first time I considered the possible non-existence of god.

    My sister remains devout.

    Look into former officer Tensing’s eyes and you immediately know these windows to his soul show nothing is there. He like so many others is empty of real feeling for anyone, especially himself. He killed a black man, but he could have killed me in a similar situation and his gaze would have been no different. The sense of self loathing involved in the murder of another human being is never purged by their death, but he couldn’t have responded differently. His hate remains an absence of actual, not ethereal love.

  2. I never leave comments on other bloggers post because I usually speak my mind, which is something most are not ready to read/hear. This “Ian” is as stupid as they come and is the part of racism that permeates our racists society. U don’t get to sit by and watch yet another unarmed life taken by a racists KKKop & blame that murder on not enough hugz as a child or lack of breast milk. Humans lack all humanity.

    1. Jiuseppi,

      I totally agree with you. It’s insulting and self-serving.

      I was sent to Catholic boarding schools as a child. My nuns even taught me that the most devout of Catholics were responsible for some of the worst crimes against humanity, in the name of religion.

      Not to go back too far into history, those were Catholics who colonized large portions of Africa and took part in the slave trade along with Protestants and Muslims.

      These kinds of screeds are the direct result of generations of intentional withholding of the truth in education. It produces warped thinking and perpetuates racism.

      Thank you for commenting. You are always welcome here.

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