It's Jared's Turn: Seven shots in Jacob Blake's back shouldn't cause debate

Jacob Blake protest
People march during a protest following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, U.S., August 27, 2020. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Jacob Blake was shot in the back seven times on Aug. 23 in Kenosha, WI. The police were called to the residence in Kenosha, where Blake, according to his lawyer, broke up a fight between two women. Blake then went to his car where he was tased and shot in the back seven times in front of his two children.

I know some people echoing white supremacy on social media think differently, but this is police brutality. It's an insane concept to rush to the defense of a guy that shot an unarmed man in the back seven times in front of his kids.

Jacob Blake does not have a good past. When he was shot, he had a warrant for his arrest with a third-degree felony in sexual assault and a misdemeanor in trespassing and disorderly conduct. In 2015, he was charged with a gun-related offense, but was acquitted. While level-headed thinking people see this and understand that he had not been convicted and there is no reason to be shot in the back seven times in front of his kids, MAGA hat-wearing keyboard warriors use these claims to defend another instance of police brutality.

Since when did being wrongfully shot in the back seven times if in front of your kids become a debate? Well, it always has been. To me, that's what's so frustrating. Instead of using these instances to understand where we need to improve as a society, we collectively take a step back and continue to defend police officers' wrongful actions that have sworn to protect and serve.

I'll let you in on a little secret: It costs zero dollars to be anti-racist. It's actually one of the easiest things people can do right now. Instead of spouting off subtle (and blatant) racist comments that alienate people of color in your community, you can do literally anything else, and you won't be racist. It's a novel concept, but we should give it a shot.


It will be a miracle if Blake ever walks again after being shot in the back seven times in front of his kids. He and his family will never be the same again. It's disheartening. I'm constantly frustrated with how people find ways to debate law enforcement's actions in situations where Black men are wrongfully shot.

While the "Black Lives Matter" movement was spearheaded to combat police brutality, it's become such a divisive phrase for reasons I can't explain. We aren't saying black lives matter more; we just want them to matter. When people say "All lives matter," they’re saying that as a response to Black lives matter. All lives don't matter until Black lives matter.

A few months ago, after the passing of Geroge Floyd, I interviewed Jon Koll. He and his wife are local activists striving for equality in Douglas County. He said something to me that I'll never forget. "Black and brown people move to Alexandria, realize the mistake they made, and want to leave."

I love this city and many of the people who live here, but we have to be better. Wrongly rushing to the defense of a man that shot Blake in the back seven times in front of his kids does not make people of color feel comfortable in their community. Saying "All lives matter" will continue to alienate your neighbors.

Until people have proven that Black lives matter, I will continue to say it. Over the last few months, I've been called a communist, an ANTIFA supporter, anti-American and just about any other name you can think of calling a liberal. If saying these things to people, who are proud to stand side-by-side with an oppressed group of people, gets you through the day, I genuinely hope you find the help you need because I won't stop.

Jared Rubado is the sports editor for the Detroit Lakes Tribune and the Perham Focus. He moved to the area in September of 2021 after covering sports for the Alexandria Echo Press for nearly three years. Jared graduated from the University of Augustana in 2018 with degrees in journalism and sports managment.
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