by MICHEAL ROMERO
Quentin Tarantino stood with protesters at a RiseUpOctober rally on October 24. The remarks he made at the event about police actions have not been taken lightly by unions in Los Angeles and New York.
In his speech, he referred to police officers who used deadly force in confrontations as “murderers,” saying, “When I see murders, I do not stand by. I have to call a murder a murder, and I have to call the murderers the murderers.”
The response from the unions was to boycott his upcoming film, “The Hateful Eight.”
Any police response is completely unnecessary and the proposed boycott would be a waste of time.
We live in the United States and the First Amendment to our glorious Constitution entitles Tarantino to say whatever he wants in public. It allows the police to do the same, but they didn’t have to say anything.
Although many people love Tarantino’s films, he’s not in a seat of power. He’s just a concerned citizen. He’s no threat to police, because he asked for nothing other than justice. He didn’t ask for the “murder of the murderers.”
Tarantino isn’t black and he isn’t viewed as any kind of black hero. He’s not going to convince someone to do something they weren’t already going to do. He wasn’t gathering troops, he was lending his voice.
He isn’t New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who made comments that showed a lack of support for police actions and received turned backs from officers during the funeral for Officer Wenjian Liu, who was shot on Dec. 20, 2014.
Tarantino’s comments should have just gone by.
The boycott for the film stems from a perceived lack of respect from Tarantino due to the sensitive timing of his speech, which was delivered four days after New York police officer Randolph Holder was fatally shot by a suspect he was pursuing.
The march in New York was planned weeks in advance, so it would have been impossible for anyone to anticipate that a police officer’s life would be taken the same week.
It’s understandable that the unions would be on edge for the heat they’ve been getting because of standout events that have claimed the lives of unarmed black citizens.
Not all officers would make the same decisions that were carried out in the contested “murder” cases.
People joining the police academy know the risks involved, and it’s hard to believe that candidates would go through training just to get the chance to shoot unarmed citizens. Police officers become police officers to uphold the law where it is challenged. They give their time to protect the community and serve the public trust.
It’s understandable that black Americans would be enraged by what seems to be a constant flow of incidents involving unarmed, black Americans that end in them seeing the coroner and not the courthouse.
At the end of the day, police still have to do their jobs. Tarantino’s stand with the protestors did nothing to infringe upon that. He wasn’t asking for more death, he was asking for justice.
He asked for the same justice men and women all across the U.S. have to dish out every day as uniformed officers.
There shouldn’t have been any response to his impassioned words other than self-reflection from police and citizens alike.
Romero isn’t a social justice advocate of any kind. He believes black lives matter just as much as blue lives. He realizes that judgement calls made in heat of the moment have no planning but can have major repercussions. In situations where the infraction is minor, being black shouldn’t magnify the judgment call’s likelihood of having fatal consequences.