To get a better understanding of this rise in police killing black youth America better start asking itself the hard questions. I really believe America needs to look back at one of our history’s darkest hours. Now, more than ever, we need to remember the civil war and why it was fought.
It needs to be written (not by a black man nor can it be written by a white man) why Michael Brown was shot to death and what role racism played in this tragic killing. This can also be applied to the obvious American epidemic of white LEO’s killing and beating people of color. This should allow some insight into what I’m asserting.
This was a fifty year old woman with mental health issues and this white officer did not hesitate to pummel her into the ground! What hate… what loss of humanity does a person need to possess in order to do this to another human being? What brings a man to beat a woman like this? Is racism that profound. Can racist hate compel a man to hate another human being that much.
Those last to questions are rhetorical and yes, racist hate is that powerful. Powerful enough to begin the American civil war that would pit brother against brother, father against son and would literally tear this country apart. So much so that southerners and now many mainstream Americans will now deny that slavery was the main catalyst for the civil war.
So we must take into consideration America’s attempts at revisionist history and the cause and effects thereof and understand that many American’s have been propagated, through media and our own educational textbooks, into believing much of this faux history. But the truth is- the civil war was brought about because southern white men wanted to retain the ability to enslave black men, and women, and America’s cardinal sin was born. Americans would have to endure the bloodiest and only civil war in American history and it was due to racist hate.
So, yes, racism is profound and it can and has made men do some terrible things.
But does that amount of hate still exist today? I believe we are seeing it now. Recently, the Supreme Court pretty much undid what years of civil rights fighters have given their lives to. Men like Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy, Medgar Evers, and Freedom Riders’ James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Shwermer.
This very conservative court has, in essence, ruled that racism no longer exists in America today. They have ensured all of America’s policing agencies that if their case makes it to the Supreme Court, racism will not be a factor in any of their verdicts and/or decisions. This has opened the doors to many who still harbor feelings of the “rebel yell,” or the edict that the south will rise again. Hence, it may well be that police shootings of black men has taken the place of lynchings. And I do not say this lightly.
This is something I read in the Chicago Tribune by Jamelle Bouie, a writer at Slate in an article titled, “Black Police and Black Citizens.”
“…the most likely victims of fatal police shootings are young black males. According to a ProPublica analysis of federal data on police shootings, young black males ages 15 to 19 are 21 times more likely to be shot and killed by police than their white counterparts. "One way of appreciating that stark disparity," notes ProPublica, "is to calculate how many more whites over those three years would have had to have been killed for them to have been at equal risk. The number is jarring — 185, more than one per week."
Recently, a group of far right conservatives led by a man by the name of Cliven Bundy had a stand-off with Government agents. As I witnessed this standoff, I gained a new understanding of America’s racism and the degree to where it stands now. These white men were pointing sniper rifles at these agents and not one bullet was fired. Michael Brown was shot six times while his hands were raised in the air… for crossing the street.
Try to put into perspective… to grasp the depth and horror of some Americans’ racist hate toward black men. Try to gain an idea of the sheer audacity of the restraint that white authority has in the face of white lawbreakers in contrast to its obvious indifference toward a young black man that was merely crossing the street. Racists cling to the idea of Michael Brown stealing a pack of cigars and this is why his death was required. And to this I would offer, Cliven Bundy owes over one million dollars in taxes yet this man is walking free and still feeding his cattle on government property and on the American taxpayers’ dime, and to many of his backers in America, he is a hero.
Indeed, this article should not be written by a black man and could not be written by a white man. If a black man would make this claim, it becomes just another “race card” being “played,” and it can’t be written by a white man because a white man can never truly understand what it is to be a slave - a minority- in America.
I do. And I can attest to the unseen “laws”- the same “black codes” that were used during reconstruction when President Andrew Johnson and his racist administration used these unseen laws to allow overt racism to make life for African-Americans a living hell just after the assassination of President Lincoln.
President Andrew Johnson told Thomas C. Fletcher, the governor of Missouri: "This is a country for white men, and by God, as long as I am President, it shall be a government for white men." And the “black codes,” the same black codes that we are seeing today, were created.
Today, we see the parallels of Andrew Johnsons presidency and the current reign of this very right-wing Supreme Court and leading members of the Republican Party. In his opinion, Justice John Roberts asserts that “America has changed,” and with one swipe of his pen, wiped away what years of civil rights activists and human beings have fought so hard and died for. So, now we have police killing black men with absolutely no recourse, becoming too reminiscent of the terror filled years between Andrew Johnson’s presidency and the 60’s civil rights act.
And in a profound twist of irony, a leading Republican figure in Republican politics, Senator Lindsey Graham of, you guessed it, the southern stronghold of South Carolina, was just quoted as saying, “If I get to be president, white men in male-only clubs are going to do great in my presidency," the day this article was to be posted. Sound familiar?
But why doesn’t the non-racist element of America stand against this? Why are we seeing this racial tension being allowed to fester in America? We all know that racism still exists but we allow our extremely right-wing supreme court to hold true to fallacies of a post-racial America? We stand idle while southern senators make statements mirroring those made by Andrew Johnson in 1865?
Is this part of the southern strategy? Because there is a quasi-black president in office, is the southern strategy to pull Barack Obama’s hand in terms of racism? I do believe so. They are actually playing to white America’s fear of a black president enslaving the white race, as ridiculous as that may sound. The unbelievable reality is 40% of Republicans would not vote for a black man as president of the United Statessimply because he’s black. Many of these same Republicans believe our president is actually a Kenyan and I can go on but these claims only cheapen and degrade perceptions of true Americans.
After President Lincoln freed black slaves under the tyranny of southern racist hatred, it took another hundred years before a man by the name of Martin Luther King made any inroads on racial equality. Southern whites lynching and murdering black people were every day occurrences and a great many of these murders would never be held to account legally. We are now witnessing that same racist hate.
White Police Officers are beating and killing black people with reckless abandon and America is collectively standing by and enabling this racist hate to continue as incarceration rates for these same minorities are breaking records across the planet. President Carter was quoted as saying, “Barack Obama has inherited a country more polarized by racism than even during the civil war.” America is beating and killing its minority population and racism is at such a high point, very few Americans feel empathy toward many of its sub-cultures. When a “Latino” is killed in America, mainstream media barely bats an eyelash because to mainstream America we are all “Mexicans,” or “Illegal aliens.”
Which brings us to the beating death of David Silva in Kern county USA on the night of May 8, 2013. It would take nine officers and a canine nineteen and a half minutes to beat this man to death but because this man is Latino, his death went pretty much unnoticed in the world of mainstream media. This killing was successfully, for all intents and purposes, swept under the rug.
But the Silva family didn’t riot. They actually believed in the American justice system. They believe, like many Latinos,in the idea of equal justice under the law. Like many Latinos they didn’t see the reality until it actually happened to them and now they know. Now they know what it is to be ignored by mainstream America. Now they know what it is to be a black man in America… what it is to be a black family.
I can foresee the outcomes of both the David Silva case and that of Michael Brown. The tactics of America’s policing agencies when combatting the killing of a citizen by one of its officers has become mundane and repetitive. So much so that Americans now mimic those strategies. “I feared for my life,” or “I thought that he was reaching for a weapon” has become commonplace.
In the case of David Silva, the Chief of police, Donnie Youngblood is also the Coroner. Talk about conflict of interests. I don’t have to tell you what the results of the autopsy were. But this is indicative of how out-of-control America’s policing agencies have become, how audacious they are in light of this very law-enforcement-friendly Supreme Court.
So, what are the chances that both the Silva family and the Brown family will receive “equal justice under the law?” My experience and expertise on American racism tells me that both Darren Wilson and the nine officers in the beating death of Mr. Silva will never face charges. America will continue to enable this ever-growing epidemic of police brutality and we’ll continue to break records in terms of mass incarceration.
So, shooting an unarmed black teenager to death with his hands in the air, or beating a Latino man to death as he screams for his life are the new normal.
Nothing to see here, just another Sunday lynching. Like Andrew Johnson said… "This is a country for white men, and by God, as long as I am President, it shall be a government for white men."
The Supreme Court has picked up that mantle and will continue to perpetuate racism by denying that it exists… thus becoming the new “rebel yell” of the New World Order.
And the South has, indeed, risen once again.