The Consequences of Our Non-Actions

Y’all, the number of reported assaults by cops on black people for the heinous crime of BEING BLACK depresses the crap out of me. They handcuffed and choked a 14 year old black kid who was holding a puppy because he looked at them funny. They handcuffed and threatened a black firefighter for waving at them. A cop doing illegal searches threatens to arrest and taze the black men filming him do it.

Seriously, all the shenanigans on that bullshit.

I think/hope the normal, the ‘average’ cop, wants to make the world a safer place. Does he or she see it in less shades of grey than reality, and think that law = justice? Yes, he or she probably does. I’m a liberal and I don’t see very much as Good/Bad. I see things as just or unjust regardless of the legal system. For example: Being gay is illegal in Russia but people who enforce that unjust law are themselves unjust. America is chock a block with dumbass laws that perpetuate injustice (hello, stop & frisk) and I know it. In contrast, people with the mindset of cops believe in law & order as part and parcel with peace & justice. They are trying, with the best of their ability and while facing great peril, to do the Right Thing.

Obviously, some of the people in law enforcement are jackbooted bullies; another stupid George-Zimmerman-like asshat who try to find a sense of masculinity/power by hurting the Other. The police are not alone in that. There is no profession free of scummy twatwaffles looking to use it to abuse others. Those people are beyond redemption and should be punished with all the punishment.

But what about the guys/gals who honestly want to do the Right Thing? Why are THEY doing the Wrong Thing?

Culture.

It is that simple. Since the day they were born cops have been bombarded with messages, spoken and unspoken, that Black People – especially Black Men – are scary. They are gangsters. They are thugs. They are rapist, drug users, thieves, etc. Individual white people doing bad things are individuals doing something bad, but black individuals are not differentiated from the collective. One bad black person is PROOF all black people are bad.

Do we honestly expect cops who grew up seeped in the belief that black people are the Dangerous Other not to treat black people as the Bad Guy? Will we pretend that racial profiling happens because of a “few bad apples” rather than the systemic RESULT of systemic racism?

It is our culture that is poising the well. The cops who are assaulting black people are they symptoms of the poison, not the poison itself. We cannot blame police officers as though they were raised in a vacuum. We need to understand that the bone-deep racism of our culture MUST be address before any meaningful reform can occur.

 

ADD A COMMENT

In order to comment on BlogHer.com, you'll need to be logged in. You'll be given the option to log in or create an account when you publish your comment. If you do not log in or create an account, your comment will not be displayed.

Menu