Police Brutality; Racial Injustice; America at War with Itself?

D-Source 03/21/2015

 

I believe most intelligent and well informed Black People (African-Americans) understand that there are a combination of factors that lead to the disproportionate injustice, Police Brutality, Killing and Incarceration of young, Black Men and Teens. These factors begin with Disproportionate Poverty, lower quality education, residual slave mentalities among Blacks People and other factors… All of these things combine to make drugs and alcohol more attractive for Black People, which combines with other factors, leading to gangs, crime, violence, Black-on-Black Murder and other types of dysfunction within the Black Community. I am Black. And I believe that Black People need to stand up and take responsibility for the Morals, Values & Ethics Education we deliver to our own children, who are committing their own Self Genocide, having way too many children out of wedlock and failing to father their own children. We need to take a bigger role in our schools; demand Morals, Values and Ethics Education; participate in the political process at a much higher rate and we need to stop selling each other illegal drugs. It would be very difficult to have a ‘War on Drugs’, if there were no young, Black Men and Women buying and selling each other illegal drugs. These are things we have the power to fix within our own community, instead of looking at White People to solve all of our problems for us. And that is exactly what we have been doing. We have been way too busy pointing our finger at White People and waiting on them to admit that it is there fault that we are so screwed up. We have been under the delusion that one day, White America (Caucasians) will suddenly wake up and say “You know, we are the cause of all of Black America’s problems. We need to admit it and start focusing our time and resources on fixing every single problem we have caused Black People in this nation”.

 

Well, I say that “It ain’t gonna happen! We need to get over it and take responsibility for fixing our own communities.”

 

Now, don’t get me wrong… Caucasians, who want to see the crime and violence stop just like we do, have tried to help. They have concluded that putting all the Druggies in jail will solve the problem. Now, this is the type of solution you get when you give another community the responsibility for solving the problems within your own community. To Caucasians, this sounded like a perfectly reasonable solution, because Drugs do result in a lot of crime, gangs and violence. I do not believe it was a solution born out of Racism, but out of some unfortunate political motivations, as well as an honest attempt to solve some serious problems within the Black Community, which began spilling over into the Caucasian Communities and became an incentive.

 

First, we had Nancy Reagan’s way to simplistic solution, which was to educate everyone that all we need to do is “Just say NO”. But the real Caucasian solution evolved out of her husband, President Ronald Reagan’s tough stance on Drugs. His administration, I believe in part for Political Reasons and in part, as a serious effort to solve some serious problems, began the evolution of what we, now, call the ‘War on Drugs’. But this has not turned out to be a very good solution; it has only exasperated our problems. Why? Because it has, unintentionally, led to the racial profiling of the Inner City, Urban Dwellers, which are Black and Latino, as many Caucasians ran to either the suburbs or to isolated, inner city communities and they took their wealth with them; leaving many inner city neighborhoods to continue their decline, without much hope for recovery. Police Officers, who spend their days and nights dealing with the worst of these Inner City, Urban Dwellers, begin to naturally develop stereotypes and bias, over time, based on what they see every single day. But what they tend to see is the worst, because the nature of their job is to be called upon when someone does something bad. They rarely get to see the good.

 

Therefore, when they pull someone over or deal with someone, who may not be so bad of a person or who may even be a good person, they have heard all the stories and seen it all before and every thing that person says begins to sound like the same old excuses they are accustomed to hearing. After working in these communities for so long, they begin to recognize certain norms; like, a person of a certain skin color, in this particular neighborhood, at this time of day or night, wearing these type of clothes, in this manner and listening to this type of music, at this volume level, tend to be violent. Who did I describe? I described the typical, young, black, male, who resides in the district many Officers patrol, of-course. So, when this young, Black Male moves, the Officers adrenaline is already running. It wouldn’t be running like that if the person was in another neighborhood, wearing different clothes, in a different manner and listening to different music, at a different volume, etc… So, you see, it isn’t necessarily that the Officer comes on duty with a hatred of Black People and is looking for a young, Black Man he can beat half to death or kill. It is the stereotypes that have developed in his mind, over time, while serving within a particular community that causes his adrenaline to run when he sees or confronts that person who fits a certain stereotypical profile of a ‘Violent Person’. And for some; not all, but some, it is also their deep seeded prejudices that combine with those stereotypes and certain way to common and familiar situations and circumstances that ended violently before. And in either case, some Officers will get just a little more excited and/or nervous than they need to and bad things end up happening.

 

Note that I have used the word some several times. I want to make sure it is perfectly clear that nothing that I say applies to every Officer. And although it has been recently made clear that there are Racist Police Officers and possibly a few in most every major Police Department across the nation, I am 100% sure that we cannot call all Police Officers Racist. I am sure that 95 plus % of all Officers are not racist. But out of that 95% who are not, I am also sure that there are some, who, over time, do, unknowingly, begin to fall prey to certain stereotypes, based on the phenomenon I explained above. When they see that person who meets that certain stereotypical profile of what they have witnessed as being a violent person, so many times in the past; their adrenaline begins to rush a little, they get a little more nervous than usual and maybe even the way they conduct a stop or conduct themselves changes just a little, without even realizing it. And like I said; sometimes, bad things happen to people who may have appeared to fit the profile, but in actuality, did not. And the result, in some of these cases, is a non-violent person being treated as though they are likely to be violent.

 

Now, the culture among Police is to always stick together when something bad happens. And that combines with other political factors to keep the Officers who overreact in these cases from being punished, re-trained, fired, jailed or whatever the situation should call for. No one in authority wants to lose their job and they don’t want a bad mark on the department. Now, these young, Black, urban men, who are always arrested in drug areas, rather they are on drugs or no, because that is where they are forced to live, are way to easy to portrait as a bad character. And they often are, in the Media. Neither the kid nor family can afford a good Attorney, so the kid (Young Man), who got beaten half to death suffers, as the Officers stick to there story of how he was violently resisting arrest. It’s this young man’s word against several upstanding Law Enforcement Officers and in the end, this young man is simply added to the Prison Population, so the Private Prison Owners can get rich and the Judge can get a kickback. Or the kid is killed and pictures and videos of him stealing a candy bar and smoking marijuana are leaked out to the Media. They want us to say “Oh, well, see? He was one of those Druggies over there in that drug infested neighborhood and he was a thief; a horrible person who brought death upon himself.” We are expected to, then, just remain silent about another dead, young, Black Man or Teen, who was likely no more flawed than any of the rest of us were at his age. We are expected to just look over it. When it happens again, just look over it again and then again…

 

In the mean time, Officers who used excessive force go free and continue Policing, feeling that the actions they took were justified. Mothers are left to make ends meet, without any help, as they grieve and fathers are crying, as sisters and brothers have lost loved ones, children grow up without their fathers and Black People get more and more angry! They are angry because yet another Black youth is dead, another family is destroyed and there is no justice, as if his life didn’t even matter and we get accused of being racist for saying that we are tired of it. Then, we get our intelligence insulted by Caucasians telling us we really don’t understand what’s going on. They say something like “All Cops aren’t racist”. What? Who said anything like that? Some Caucasians think we should just bury our head in the sand and pretend there is no problem. They say things like “Look, white people get killed by Police, too…” And of-course they do. But consider the following: The 1,217 deadly police shootings from 2010 to 2012 captured in the federal data show that blacks, ages 15 to 19, were killed at a rate of 31.17 per million, while just 1.47 per million white males in that age range died at the hands of police. No comparison…



Black Teen Boys killed can be disturbingly young. There were 41 teens 14 years or younger reported killed by police from 1980 to 2012; 27 of them were black; 8 were white; 4 were Hispanic and 1 was Asian. Over all, Black Youth (20 something and younger) were killed by Police 700% more often than Caucasian Youth. 


According to the US Department of Justice, in Ferguson, MO., 86% of Police stops were of African-Americans. And this is indicative of what goes on all across the nation.

The state of Wisconsin incarcerates more than double the amount of African American Men than the average in the US. Black People comprise 19% of registered drivers, but Black People receive 69% of the traffic tickets. A new study by M. Marit Rehavi of the University of British Columbia and Sonja B. Starr of the University of Michigan Law School shows that Black Americans receive almost 60% longer prison sentences than white Americans who committed the same crime. And there is no mystery as to how this can be… Black People are at the bottom of almost every statistic. We have the worse schools, the highest unemployment rates, the highest Dropout Rates, the lowest High School and College Graduation Rates, we are the most impoverished and are the least insured, which contributes to us having the worst overall health. Combine all of these terrible statistics and you create an environment for an entire race of people where it is more likely to come from a broken home, that you are poorly educated, impoverished, unemployed and where drugs, alcohol and gangs are more attractive. Once arrested, you are less likely to be able to afford a good Attorney and less likely to have anyone say anything positive in your behalf. Combine these things with the stereotypical viewpoint that many Conservative Judges, Prosecutors and Americans have that Black People are lazy and criminal minded and you have a perfect storm for a Public Attorney to railroad an uneducated youth into accepting a guilty Plea Bargain and accepting an extra long sentence.

Rather some of us want to admit it or not, their is considerable intentional or unintentional racial bias withing our Criminal Justice System. I’ve been racially profiled twice just this year, myself. It’s only March. If you are Caucasian, how many times have you been racially profiled this year? I rest my case…

Blacks make up 12-13% of the US Population but 45% of the US Prison Population.

Now, while every race of people suffer injustice in this nation, it is clear that almost any indicator you look at proves that Black People suffer the most injustice in this nation. I also realize that the data on these things is insufficient, due to insufficient data collection and reporting. However, do we expect that sufficient data collection and reporting will improve these terribly disproportionate statistics? I suspect it would only show an even more grim picture.

 

So, what are the real solutions?

 

1. Morals, Values and Ethics Education in our homes and schools. This is education on who to be, who not to be, what to stand for, what not to fall for, where to be, where not to be and when, how to treat others and so on… These are all examples of Common Sense Education, which has, unfortunately, become way too uncommon. These are the types of education that help to remove the dysfunction within families and communities that lead to drugs, alcohol, crime, gangs and violence, etc. These are the types of education that keep young girls’ legs closed and that teach young boys the causes, effects and consequences of pre-marital sex. The value of education and participating in the Political Process, work ethic and good morality are all vital to rearing children who are less likely to live a lifestyle that will make them more likely to find themselves confronted by Police Officers and the Justice System. More Black participation in the Political Process is important, so that there is better representation within the Police Departments and the local Government.

 

Without making this a long discussion, within itself, I will simply say that the impact of better Morals, Values and Ethics Education are so far reaching that it should not be ignored. But it will…. Morals, Values and Ethics are the key to most every social and economic challenge we face in the entire world, but few are able to make the connection between these types of education and the actual problems and challenges we face in our society. But God Almighty, himself, gave us a very basic set of Morals, Values & Ethics he intended to be the very foundation that we build our society on. They were so important that he etched them in stone. And if everyone simply did the right thing; what problems would we have? Ref: the ‘Unlimited Education’ Page on this blog. Anyone interested in more information can simply comment. There is no shortage of information and research to support my statements. Also, see our ‘Unlimited Education for Our Children Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Unlimited-Education-for-Our-Children/102671536444199 2

 

2. Police Officers need better Training. They need better and more, ongoing Sensitivity Training, Conflict Resolution Training, Cultural Training (Customs, Courtesies, etc.). For example: Michael Brown was killed after Police ordered him out of the street. As a Black Man, I can tell you that Black People often walk in the street. Why? When you are on the sidewalk, dogs come out of nowhere from around houses, for one and there are a variety of other reasons. But one could certainly make the point that Police Officers could better spend their time searching for real crime vs. harassing a couple kids for walking in the street of a residential neighborhood, with very limited traffic. It is simply what Black People do. This is a custom that should be understood by the Police Officers who patrol these communities. If they would have simply left these kids alone about walking in the street (Jay Walking); Michael Brown would still be alive today. And who knows what type of productive citizen he have become? He was on his way to school.

 

3. Body Cameras doesn’t sound like a terrible idea. There are some privacy issues and issues concerning when they should be turned on and off, etc. But it is something to be looked into

 

4. Better Community and Police Communication and Collaboration. Police should be our friends. In many African-American Communities, Police are viewed as ‘The Enemy’. Gone are the days when Police Officers mentored kids and teens and when kids went on field trips to the Police Station and so on… Those days need to return. Gone are the days when you new your neighborhood Officer’s name and he knew yours and when Officers new the good and the bad kids within the community they patrolled. Let’s get back to those days. Gone are the days when young, African-American Children aspired to be Police Officers and it was viewed as an honorable and respectable profession for a Black Man.

 

5. The metrics used to measure the success of Police Officers must change. Currently, most Police Departments measure success by the number of tickets and arrests and Officer makes. This is only an incentive for an Officer to be overly aggressive and writing tickets and making arrests and there is no proof that either actually result in reduced crime or violence.  Officers should, instead, be judged on the reduction of crime and violence in the community he patrols. This is a better metric. If crime and violence decreases, then the Officer is doing something right. This change must come along with training on more progressive styles of Community Policing that includes more Role Model and Mentor Programs, School Visitation Programs and Field Trips to Police Stations, Jails, Prisons and Hospitals, and more interaction with the residents, on a regular basis. A move back to the old days when the Officers new the names of the kids and teens in the neighborhoods and the Officer new the parents of those kids and teens, personally. An Officer is much less likely to end up shooting someone he knows and whose parents he knows. He isn’t so threatened by him. 

6. Better screening of Officers is vitally important. We don’t see the brutality in the FBI that we see in the local Police Departments. They make plenty of arrests, too; but if you compare the screening process and training that FBI Agents receive vs. the screening and training local Police Department Officers receive, you would be amazed at the difference. And the difference shows in the behavior of the FBI Agents vs. the Local Police Officers. Anyone who is allowed to carry dangerous and deadly weapons and given such authority as Police Officers, should be screened at the highest levels and receive the absolute most best and thorough training. It is up to we, ‘The People’, to demand this from our local Police Departments.

 

7. African-American Parents need to be sure we teach our children how to properly respond  when confronted by Police. This is part of Morals, Values and Ethics Education, of-course, but I wanted to make sure I made this particular point clear. Our young, Black, Men, need to understand that Officers are that much more suspicious of them and are that much more nervous when interacting with them and that they are much more likely to be hurt or killed by Police. They need to be overly obedient, overly courteous, kind, polite, respectful and simply drop to the ground, on their stomachs, when an Officer goes for his gun or a Tazer or when and Officer orders him down. Some will say it shouldn’t be necessary and I would agree. But, unfortunately, it is necessary, if you want your son to make it home every night.

 

In the end, This isn’t about Black vs. White. Why try to make it that? If you, as a Caucasian, suffer injustice, I have your back. We, as Black People, are suffering injustice and it is clear. Instead of denying there is a problem, why not have our back? We are all God’s creation. He didn’t allow us to evolve into different races and cultures so there would be division in the world; but diversity. How boring would the world be if everyone were the same? But we have different cultures, foods, music, art and there is beauty in every race and the world is exciting! Why not stand up for those who suffer injustice? And although it is clear that some of these problems do revolve around the issues of Race and Racism, including Institutional Racism; we must be careful who we call a Racist. Blanket allegations of Racism will serve no one any good. It will only anger people and anger never solves any problems.

 

We must realize that if there are a few Racist Officers within a department; that doesn’t automatically make the entire department racist. We must also realize that just because an Officer kills a Black Person, doesn’t automatically make him a Racist, either; although, that Officer may have, unintentionally, fallen prey to some stereotypes of people who happen to be of certain races. Racism and Prejudice has two different meanings, as well. While a Racist is bound to be prejudiced, someone who is prejudiced, may not necessarily be a Racist. For example: If I am an Officer, I may not stop a Black or White Man for walking in the street. But if he is a Black or White Man wearing a Hoodie and with sagging pants, I will stop him. This is a type of prejudicial treatment, that is not necessarily based on racism. And these distinctions are important to recognize, so that we do not miss characterize people and institutions. It is also important so that those of us who are not Racist, can more easily admit that we do, in fact, have some prejudices and/or engage in some prejudicial behaviors.

 

We must all recognize that some of our prejudices are so deeply seeded, that they are often times unconscious prejudices, as well. We will often swear that we are not prejudiced and point at our Black or White friends as evidence and what we are willing to do for someone of another race as evidence that we are not racist or prejudiced. But, that doesn’t mean we don’t unconsciously make decisions based on prejudices. That is another discussion, of-course.

 

My point is that we must all be willing to be open minded to the possibilities that we are not right in every single thing we do and that we all need to take some responsibility for the things that are wrong in our imperfect nation and world. The answer isn’t always what they need to do; but often what we can do or what I can do that will make a difference. Let’s all get involved. Let’s all put ourselves in each others’ shoes and consider the others’ perspective. Let’s call a spade a spade and not deny the truth, just because the truth is unpleasant or because the truth is that I may be a little wrong. And by all means, let’s all work together to solve these problems. Division is never the solution. It only leads to miss-trust, suspicion and the left hand not knowing what the right is doing. Only through unity of purpose does anything positive ever get done. Remember, there can never be peace, until both sides of any conflict or misunderstanding have decided to make peace.

There is a Black Lives Matter Movement that I support. Not because only Black Lives Matter, but because Black People feel that when Officers commit senseless murders of Black People, those Officers are not held accountable, as if the lives of those Black People killed didn’t matter. If White People start a movement called White Lives Matter for the same reasons; I will support it, too. Why? Because all lives matter. So let us not mince words and get caught up in semantics that throw shade over the real issues… If one group of Americans feel they have a legitimate grievance, let us join in our support for that group. In the end, we are all individual groups, who make up this great American Family. When any one individual of a family needs support, does not the entire family of different individuals unite in support of that one individual member of the family? It is time that all Americans come together to support each other. 

Filed under: Abuse, Authors, D-Source, Justice/Injustice, Let's Change the WORLD Movement, Mass Incarceration, Not In The News, Philosophy, Police Brutality, Politics, Public, Race, Racism, Unlimited Education | Posted on March 21st, 2015 by DSource4U

One Response to “Police Brutality; Racial Injustice; America at War with Itself?”

  1. Dale Davis Says:

    Your thoughts?

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