The rising internet celeb James Kirk aka Bitter Chocolate Man – on Twitter as @illcapitano94 with over 26,000 followers and on tumblr at basedgodtookmyusername.tumblr – has become well known for his funny videos and clever tweets. But one of his popular works, which has more than 200,000 notes on tumblr, is a video that has far from a funny topic: police brutality.
As someone who describes himself as a feminist and a supporter of the BlackLivesMatter movement, it isn’t surprising that this outspoken Twitter personality would speak on such an important issue. In the video, Kirk, a black man, explains his analogy about police brutality so that people who don’t see it as an issue or don’t understand it will realize its impact. Police brutality, he says, is a lot like water. How?
As he says:
“I hate when discussing police brutality people like to say ‘Well there are good cops, too.’ Fam, there’s clean water. If I live in a house where the tap water’s coming out dirty sometimes, I don’t say ‘It’s not always dirty so it’s ok, nothing’s wrong.’”
Interested yet? The analogy becomes more literal when he begins discussing how we need to examine “the system.” It becomes apparent that he has hit upon the perfect analogy, in part because of how interchangeable the words are. At points you can’t tell if he’s back to talking about a literal water system or he means the police. He continues:
“No, I need to replace the system. I need to examine the system and the source so that my water is clean and acting like water every single time.”
The video is made more powerful by the fact that these words, impactful on their own, are being spoken by a black man, as one can imagine he is coming from a place of personal experience when discussing the distrust of police. He says, “Until something changes I’m going to be nervous when I pour a cup of water from the sink. … I should be able to look at a cop and know that’s going to be a clean cup of water every time I see it.”
After discussing the analogy, he goes into an explanation of how the police system in the United States is failing to perform its function in society. Much like how one would replace a dysfunctional water filter, if a police officer’s job is to be good and they are failing at that, then the system is dysfunctional.
So far, the video has received positive and popular reactions from followers on tumblr and Twitter, with few criticisms or negative attacks from commenters. While it seems like a clear-cut and simple analogy, there are of course still people who don’t seem to get the issue. Videos like these with simplified explanations may be what the world needs to finally fix this problem, though. Or as Kirk says, “We have to fix the filter.”