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This article contains mature language.
The response from the police community and the courts of law when the people call to charge police officers with murder because we all watched them murder an innocent and unarmed civilian is the most ruthless, brutal, and unforgiving response. If it’s one thing this justice system will not stand for, it’s anyone questioning their commitment to racism.
Fuck it, fire them all.
On defunding the police, we should move with caution. Let’s say a law is passed tomorrow to defund police departments nationwide. The police task force inevitably gets smaller in its numbers and they have less access to deadly weapons. One issue that we have to prepare for doesn’t have anything to do with an increase in crime. It has more to do with who will be left after the cuts are made. Based on the evidence, a mass firing will put the men and women who work as American police officers in fierce competition with one another to see who can prove to be the bigger bigot. The deepest fear we should all have with defunding the police is that we will end up with a batch of all bad apples. I imagine there will be no room for a voice of reason. I imagine a small, defunded unit where everyone on payroll — the cops, lieutenants, and detectives — is Derek Chauvin.
I can’t be alone in feeling the weight of the strange, unstable relationship between America and it’s Black citizens. I feel the blatant injustice so deep, I can taste it. We’ve been watching these murders on film for many years now and I mourn for every Black victim slain by the bloody hands of this criminal justice system. But this time the grief is different. The grief is different partly because I’ve acknowledged a pitiful truth.
On the topic of police murder, I’m devastated that I’ve acknowledged, in the darkest corner of my mind, that I am all out of real outrage. My jaw just don’t drop like it used to. A minuscule part of me accepts that in the society that I live in, it has been normalized and accepted that white cop killers will have the American government’s full support, arms and all, to ensure that they live —and live freely — after murdering a Black citizen. I’m grieving Black breath. I’m grieving the space that George Floyd occupied in the culture. I’m grieving my outrage, once deafening and all fire, now weak and cooled down.
Part of me thinks I’ve cooled down because I’ve come to the conclusion that the war on police brutality is not a war I can soldier in. Matter of fact, it’s a war that no Black person can be drafted into. There is no expert on police brutality who is Black. That mentality is a white mob mindset. It’s not meant for Black people to get mementos on, briefings, sidebars and such. What I’m mulling on is this: The thing about white mob mentality – the immediate and oftentimes violent – disapproval of black presence has spread to many, many other communities of color.
In the last few days, I’ve mulled over the phoniness of allies and their social media justice. I mean, my Asian-American friends need a full color, multiple chapter book on how to be anti-racist. My Afro-Latinx friends need the Lord’s only intervention to admit that they are Black, despite showing color in their skin and wearing tightly coiled hair that reaches towards the sun. My Indian-American friends are speaking out about the colorism in their communities for the first time ever and the silent racism they all were raised with. I’m embarrassed that I even know people who for so long felt comfortable chilling in their anti-blackness.
It’s almost as if America says, if you’re white you’re alright, and if you’re not white you better learn how to love anti-blackness. The hatred, brutality, and murder of Black bodies is America’s oldest addiction. And to start the process of recovery, America must hit rock bottom.