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Is this racism in action, or something else?

KhaosMage
Posts: 1,475
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1/29/2015 10:43:28 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
http://www.huffingtonpost.com...

Given this is effectively the same issue that caused riots due to recent other black deaths without trials, is the issue that police aren't indicted due to racism, or due to the likelihood of failure to indict/win?

(also, on a side note, if the only questionable police shootings of 2014 were those 10, I don't think the notion that police are out hunting blacks is valid in the least. It is likely 10 too many, but it is hardly the epidemic that some believe it is)
ford_prefect
Posts: 4,138
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1/29/2015 6:59:44 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
It may not be an epidemic, but the reason why it's still a huge deal is because of two things. One, there is a huge historical precedent in this country, even as recently as 50 years ago, of state sanctioned violence against innocent black people. There are people alive today who survived attack dogs and fire hoses, who lived in fear of lynching mobs, who knew that they could be killed for drinking from the wrong fountain or talking to a white woman the wrong way. So I'm sure you can see how they and their children and grandchildren have a unique perspective on this.

Two, when you have a community that has a historical mistrust of the police, because the police didn't lift a finger protect them from mobs and in some cases joined in, and you have publicized cases where police are shooting unarmed members of that community, there is understandably a feeling of helplessness and rage. If you are a young black male, what are you supposed to do when interacting with police? You know they can easily shoot you, and statistically they are likely to not even stand trial. Wouldn't that bother you? Wouldn't that instill fear and hatred of the police in you?

At this point it may be mostly due to the fact that cops are hard to indict. I'm not denying that plays a huge role, at least. But no matter what the reason, if I am a young black male, I do not feel safe knowing that any officer can kill me and all he needs to do to avoid punishment is say I was threatening his life. And every single case that the cop doesn't even face trial, is just reinforcing this fact in the minds of black people: "Cops have all the power, we have none. We can be killed by them with impunity"

This is why it's a big deal. Do I condone rioting? Of course not. But neither do I condone a justice system that treats you differently based on the color of your skin. At this point, the police have used up the benefit of the doubt. It's gone. You can debate how much of this is due to conscious or subconscious racism, but ultimately, it just needs to stop.