One of the key tenets of the Liberation movement is that injustice and oppression damage everyone: oppressor, oppressed, and those who witness. Further, a healthy society must heal from within across all differences and levels for lasting change to occur.
In the case of Walter Scott, this truth is self-evident. After three attempts, the officer (Michael Slager) could not be found guilty of any crime, even though videos show him shooting a fleeing Walter Scott in the back multiple times, and dropping an item on the ground near Scott after shooting him.
As Slate reports: “Because we can’t look at Slager in isolation, we also have to look at what it means for everyone that the bar for prosecution is so high that an officer could kill a fleeing suspect and still escape legal sanction. It means any officer can kill any American for almost any infraction, and almost always escape punishment. It means black Americans, who face far more than their share of this violence, live lives with effectively less value in the eyes of the state.”
In order to dismantle racism and value Black lives, we have no choice but to look at the whole system of (in)justice we have created, and change it from the ground up. Without the willingness to change this system across every police department and courtroom in the country, there cannot be liberation and healing for society. That yoga and meditation become a positive support for this change is inevitable and needed.