The definition of insanity is to “continue to do the same thing and expect a different result”. This is how I view the pro law enforcement crowd who are trotted out after each incident where a cop kills an unarmed black man. They all over the media to express a false narrative that it was the victims fault that he “got killed” and all the policeman was only doing his job.
It is always the same script from some benevolent brotherhood organization supporting the terrorist. Also, a “GoFundIt” page is quickly created to solicit funds for the cop’s defense. More shameful, however, was a statement made by a former mayor publicly stating that the killer of Michael Brown should get a medal.
In some recent cases of police officers killing black men, any uncertainty about the events preceding the fatal altercation has provided fodder for debates about what exactly led to their deaths, and whether the killing was justified. Of course, the killing is always justified. Not so in the case of Walter Scott. A video makes it perfectly clear that victim was fleeing the when North Charleston, South Carolina, police officer Michael Slanger shot his “pray” six times in the back after a traffic stop, and then lied about what happened. Naturally, as is always the case, the officer’s word was taken as gospel and that he was in fear for his life.
Then a hero who took a video of the event came forward, and nothing in the officers report or that of any of the officers present matched what the video shows. In this case, there’s not much room for speculation about things like hand positioning or who was the initial aggressor. Nonetheless, the media ran with the officer’s story and investigated the victim’s background to smear his character. Predictably, the media and the public focus on everything but the police officer who killed an unarmed black man.
Then comes the predictable reaction, which is right from their playbook about police violence: we/you should be talking about black on black crime. Media Matters reported in August 2014 some of the right-wing efforts to focus on black-on-black crime to deflect from the national conversation sparked by Michael Brown’s death at the hands of white police officer Darren Wilson. For examples:
The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Riley on Meet the Press: “Let’s not pretend that our morgues and cemeteries are full of young black men because cops are shooting them. The reality is that it’s because other black people are shooting them.”
Rush Limbaugh asserts that black homicide in Chicago isn’t a topic of national concern because it’s not “mixed race.”
Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum asking: “What about the children who are being killed in the streets in Chicago? What about black-on-black violence? Where is Al Sharpton on that? Where is the president on that?”
More recently, Rudy Giuliani told a New York radio station in March that he blamed President Obama for the shooting of two police officers in Ferguson, accusing him of “enormous amounts of crime” committed by African Americans. Saying he should focus more on a topic like Bill Cosby.
The fact that their response is so predictable it strikes most as an obvious, desperate attempt to focus on anything but the issue. Rather than the issue of systemic racism in the criminal justice system is the source of a lot of frustration for a sane and reasonable mind.
As Lauren Williams wrote in Vox, “it’s an easily anticipated source of preemptive eye-rolls among people who follow and participate in social media conversations about race and justice.” In fact, she says the absurdity of bringing up black-on-black crime in response to unrelated issues has inspired a popular punch line. Adding, that there are many layers of logical and moral reasoning that explains why focusing on black-on-black crime in response to criticism of law enforcement’s treatment of black Americans misses the point.
I agree with her that one of the primary problems with this argument is that “race-on-race” crime is not unique to black Americans. White people kill each other too. Jamelle Bouie debunked this myth in the Daily Beast, and so did Matt Yglesias recently exposed the scourge of white-on-white murder. Plus, Williams explains the underlying sentiment that “nobody pays attention when black people kill each other is simply not based in reality.
Personally, I find the term “black-on-black crime” is insulting and in fact misleading, which is why they trumpet their so-called stats or facts they create whenever tough questions about systemic racism come up. Yet, they never state the obvious that the so-called violence in black communities is being largely ignored. Focusing on black-on-black crime distracts from the current news about a rouge police that should be worthy of discussion and analysis. Worse, they zoom in on the talking point while ignoring the issues that go hand in hand with it. And that’s a lot to ignore.
Everybody in America knows the policy of America has always been rooted and based on the principle of white supremacy. So people, who are put off by discussions of police officers killing unarmed black men, are more than entitled to their position. However, the bigots who do really need to find a more convincing way to change the subject and in fact another argument. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…
This article was inspired by Lauren Williams of Vox