Wednesday, July 22, 2015

"Film the police" #SandyBland

After the case of Sandra Bland, "who was mysteriously found dead in jail after a bizarre traffic stop arrest", last week police claimed that two young women committed suicide by hanging, after being arrested on relatively minor charges. In one case the police seem to have targeted a young African American woman for her civil rights activism and asserting her rights at a traffic stop. While she was waiting for bail, she was found hung in her jail cell. In the other, police say that an 18-year-old girl committed suicide by hanging after she was arrested over a spat involving a cell-phone" (countercurrentnews).

To sum up the last couple months of 2015, "There was bikini-clad teenager Dajerria Becton who was wrestled to the ground and kneed in the back by a police officer. Before her there was eight-month pregnant Charlena Michelle Cooks who a police officer allegedly threw stomach first to the ground. There was Renisha McBride shot in the face and killed, no questions asked, when she knocked on a door asking for help after a car accident. And we must not forget Marissa Alexander who was initially given a 20-year prison sentence after being denied a stand-your-ground defense for firing a warning shot into the air during an incident of domestic violence with her estranged husband. Most recently, there is Sandra Bland, thrown to the ground and kneed in the back because police perceived her as 'combative' during a traffic stop." (lockerdome).
And lets not forget the murders that took place in a South Carolina church, and also five predominantly black churches were burned within a week. 
And, truly not to lump a bunch of names together, but also remember the lives that were lost, Freddie Gray, Michael Brown, and Trayvon Martin--all different situations where young black men die at the hands of police.

"[A]bout 46 percent of state prisoners who are behind bars for non-violent crimes... in most states, the black incarceration rate is more than four times the white incarceration rate. In nearly half of states, it’s six times the white incarceration rate...these facts raise painful questions about the way our justice system treats people of color" (The Washington Post). 
And seeing how officers treat minor "offenses" of black females, it seems white people especially white women are less likely to have altercations that took place in Sandy Bland's situation. 
It's not a matter of 'oh black folks need to stop doing these crimes', the issue is that even if black folks are NOT committing crimes, they are accused, abused, threatened, and feared. White people do consistently get smaller penalties for the same crimes and that has been documented. A white person convicted of a crime is far less likely to get jail time and more likely to get community service. It is also documented that police specifically go to "ghetto" neighborhoods (and places that segregate black people from the suburbs) to entrap, prey upon, and then convict black folks of crimes in order to perpetuate a cycle that the penal system created.

Even if black people were doing more violent crimes than white people (which they are not), lets ask WHY they are doing these crimes, rather than HOW to convict them and take away all of their freedoms. 

These events invoke my rage on our police state. Technology, availability and ease of access to this information has actually woke up the white people of the world to the disparities black folks face everyday. Now white folks are acknowledging their white privilege, and this provokes the media/public to put stress on the officials to charge the police for their crimes (considering police kill, falsely arrest/accuse others, commit horrifically racist acts, and the list goes on. I actually have a video link where an ex-police officer, Michael Wood, exposes some of the abusive racist police culture, here.)

I don't necessarily want to use this same system to put down officials and politicians when it is in my favor, or rather for 'justice', and disrupt the system when it isn't in my favor--and certainly these people that you throw in jail, even police, will not change their attitudes towards another race, culture, etc.
I will say, however, cops are people, and cops are given privileges that no other person is given. The police are not doing 'good' for society--of course good and bad are arbitrary terms--but the police exist for the sole purpose of exuding violence.
We know that people change by establishing empathy for others, the proverbial 'walk a day in my shoes' can create some astounding transformations in people.

No comments:

Post a Comment