“We are still fighting The Civil War.”
My fiancé said this and it hit me like a brick. He’s right. White supremacists have been living as if they lost the last battle, not the war. It’s not a coincidence that the standard response to any question of the status quo is “Leave if you don’t like it” or “Go back to Africa”. The so-called patriots who stand for flag and anthem don’t really want us here. Shut-up, leave or die these are the options given to us.
We need to stop treating these shootings as individual incidences. We must treat these shootings as an organized effort to silence black people and other people of color. The tactics are as old as the Klan itself, good ol’ homegrown, American terrorism. This time, they don’t wear pointy white hoods. They wear uniforms and hide in plain sight and refer to this method as ghost skins. They aren’t lynching black people, they gun us down in the streets.
A report was released by the FBI in 2006 about white supremacist groups infiltrating police departments. According to the report, white supremacists recruit from within the department finding officers sympathetic to their cause. These officers actively obstruct justice by alerting criminals to pending investigations and stings. But nothing has been done. Now it seems that they have possibly gotten more active in creating the Amerikkka that they want.
While Barack Obama is busy stumping hard for Hillary Clinton I want to know why they believe they can make me fearful of the horror of a Trump presidency when my people are being shot in the street under an Obama presidency. Where are the executive orders to put a stop to this brutality? Why aren’t these men, women, and children dying at the hands of those charged with protecting the citizens of American not cause enough to take drastic action? Last year the UN investigated and took issue with the United States over its human rights violations due to police violence. Again, nothing has been done.
Police officers, as a whole, have been cloaked in the propaganda of their assumed good guy status, just by virtue of putting on a uniform. Think about that, your neighborhood racist can train for five months and get a badge and a state-sanctioned gun. They are handed the ability to decide if citizens have the right to live or if they must die with little to no consequences if they choose the latter. We continue to ask why the good cops don’t stand up against the bad cops, but unfortunately, the actual good cops in the police force are also terrorized. The police officers willing to cross that thin blue line face the same treatment citizens of color face. Losing their jobs in an attempt to do the right thing.
Sheryl Underwood is right, these murders should be treated as a hate crime. A hate crime with minimum sentencing without parole. No more paid leave. No more early retirement as a gift for committing cold-blooded murder. Mandatory fines police departments will pay family members. Where does the money come from you might ask. It can come from the retirement funds of those who have lost their jobs due to shooting innocent citizens while committing a hate crime, and those found to be abusing their position. Body cams and car cams should be mandatory and if the camera is shut off or camera is blocked during an arrest, the officer should be immediately fired. We must get rid of Grand Juries or revamp the grand jury system in these cases. The time for talking has passed. We need to actually do something.
America needs to institute mandatory training and require psychological testing for anyone thinking about becoming a police officer. Part of that testing should look at any social biases. If an individual pings on any racist markers they don’t get a badge. Sound harsh and too rigorous? It should be, people wielding the power of life or death should be among the most highly trained among us. They should also be among the least biased of us. Not someone with only one month more training than a nail technician who is filled with discriminatory beliefs.
When the Fraternal Order of Police has backed the most overtly bigoted candidate since Jesse Helms, that’s your sign things have gone too far. When obedience to the Fraternal Order itself has become more important than the law of the land we must bring these officers to heel.