There is a "Now This" video circulating that is a classic example of why people of color cannot in these time always assume the police are friends or protectors. They are, but a reflection of society and their behavior seem to have accelerated further downward with the election of Donald Trump, the White Supremacist in Chief.
Definite police profiling, misconduct, and more
The "Now This" video shows a clear case of police messing with the civil liberties of a young black man as he racially profiled him.
After watching the video, I was so incensed that I shared the video on my Facebook wall to elicit commentary. I wrote the following lede for the post.
If you wonder why thinking people of color and socially conscious white people consider police officers a 50/50 liability, mostly for people of color when thinking about their personal security, videos like these are perfect examples. I spoke to my daughter and a myriad of young people of color in my community and others as they basked in the bubble to disregard their false sense of racial invisibility. Criminalized just for your existence is not only exhausting but life-threatening. Thanks for sharing this Kandice Webber.
It would not be long before I got reactions. A good friend and I exchanged the following dialogue.
I can't stop thinking about the encounter I had with a UH campus police officer when we were there Friday registering voters. He walked past us and we said "are you registered to vote?" He replied "Yes, and I can't wait to vote for Donald Trump again!" someone said something about DT being against unions and he said he wasnt a member then proceeded to "explain" to me about the economy and all the "illegals flooding into the job market taking all the jobs". He got right in my face and became very animated. You can imagine how that went over with me! I informed him I didn't need him manspaining to me about the economy that Bush tanked and Obama saved. Anyway, this went on for a while until Josie said " you are in uniform and really shouldn't be talking politics. What's your name?" Well that "brave" bully took off. I can't stop thinking of all the international students and Hispanic students (some Dreamers) on that campus. He was clearly hostile toward brown people. Should I report this?????
I told her that she should report the police officer. As a white person, she got an insight into the hateful pathology of this one police officer. But it is clear his behavior and sentiment can extrapolate to a large percentage of police forces around the country given both factual and empirical data. Worse, one can see how these type of police responses and emotions become actions with the public they are supposed to serve.
Another friend, a white woman responded as follows.
In 1969, I was riding from East Lansing, MI to Chicago with a couple of black friends, who were in the front seats. Another white friend and I were in the back seats. We were pulled over by a state trooper who questioned extensively who we were and who owned the car (my white friend did). After running all our IDs and finding nothing, he finally let us go. If anything, things have gotten worse since. At that time, the police weren't freely shooting people during traffic stops like they do today — at least on Interstates — but it is both sad and infuriating that we are going backward instead of forward.
She got it. She has not allowed the Right Wing narrative where police can do no wrong to take away her intellect, her ability to rationalize, think objectively, and come to logical conclusions.
These injustices can continue because the police are not held accountable for their wrongdoing in the aggregate. The people who usually sit in judgment of their misdeeds themselves, many times hold the sentiment of these bad cops. A message from another friend was probative.
One of my patients, after no political talk from me went on a rant. I will leave his diatribe out of the text, but he ended with you're a liberal and liberals need to be exterminated.
I told her I was writing a blog on this issue and wanted to hear the diatribe from her patient. She obliged.
He railed about Obama being a Muslim. He railed about Obama not being a citizen. He railed about women being murderers , said it was murder not choice. Railed about immigrants being criminals braking into our country, how they should be charged with breaking and entering. He railed about Hilary being a criminal from Benghazi to her being guilty of sex crimes. He railed about BLM and Antifa being terrorist groups. All the while I was helping him dress. His wife had left to get the car.
We are currently in a time with a substantial part of our population unhinged by issues neither they control nor the other's they blame, for their problems. But the Plutocracy is incentivized to keep these people ill-informed. The bad police officers are but puppets in the game who play their part to give life to the caricature of the others these police apologists fear.
The problem is that human beings' lives, mostly people of color, are the victims of this game, the ones where tolerating police brutality is a necessary part. Ironically, what police apologists fail to realize is that as the extractive nature of our economy continues, they will eventually become the feed as well. As I have preached consistently, "race" is a social construct designed to keep a select few in power. At the top of the Plutocracy, there is no race, just those invited to be a part of it, the chosen. It is all tied together and until we connect the dots the human decimation will continue, now, mostly people of color but you next.