It is very upsetting to me the number of police abuse cases making national news with the most recent occurring in Baltimore that I am slowly losing faith in our ability to seek comfort in calling those who take an oath to protect and serve the public. It is getting ridiculous the frequency in which video recordings are capturing these abuses and the number of officers that stand around and watch or join in the abuse. They treat suspects – mostly Black — as though they are not human.
In my opinion this comes from years of joke telling and believing every negative thing they have heard or learned about African Americans from their family members, friends and our government policies. These negative images about Blacks have been so ingrained in our society that it is automatic for some police officers to shoot and kill then cover up their actions with lies, false reports, vilifying the victim and remaining silent before releasing the story to the public. The police are confident that the courts will not put them on trial and the public will believe them over any Black man especially ones with a record of any contact with our criminal justice system.
This is a carryover from Blacks having no rights as an enslaved people especially after the United States Supreme Court Dred Scott decision that Blacks had no rights that a White person had to respect.
Even though it was in the form of a joke at the White House Correspondents Dinner, comedian Cecily Strong said that the only police that might get in trouble from killing a Black man may be the secret service, referring to the president. She also told a joke about the president’s hair and now it’s white enough to talk back to police. Even though these are jokes it is part of the narrative of how society views the continued plight of Blacks in America.
I say and mean “our” country because in searching my family history it is clear my family lost members in the Civil War and fought in World War I and II. I had cousins in the Korean and VietNam conflicts. This is not to mention my family’s free labor from toiling as slaves on the farms in North Carolina and Georgia.
I share in the frustration of those who want to resort to violence but I know violence is not the answer and so we must tell our young people to show and practice patience.
I still do not believe justice can be attained through violent means.
We must restructure America’s justice system and retrain all police officers while integrating this same system with diversity and hire and require people be from the communities they serve. The people funding our law enforcement must also be represented as law enforcement officers. Our agencies need to reflect the diversity of our communities.