Saturday, 16 July 2016

Racial Constructs and Police Relations: A Reader

Whilst race is a social construct, it is a very real one. To pretend that it does not exist is to wilfully ignore the lived realities of People of Colour. Be mindfully loving.

With regard to calls for unity from those who visibly ally themselves with the police, the following needs to b known. Please read.

* "We don’t need Lincoln-inspired racial ‘unity.’ We need whites to stop being racist."
Stacey Patton, Washington Post
15 July 2015
"Clinton’s call for everyone to “do the work” to unite against hatred overlooks the fundamental fact that it’s whites — and only whites — who must work to fix the racist structures in our society. To quote another historical figure, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: 'The thing wrong with America is white racism. … It’s time for America to have an intensified study on what’s wrong with white folks.' Clinton could have spoken about racial justice. Talk of unity, reconciliation and restoring trust is a diversion from the raw, ugly, excruciatingly painful work of addressing the systemic racism that is tearing our nation apart. In their rush to avoid the real work in favor of a kumbaya fantasy comfort zone, they refuse to confront history and the truth about present moment."

* "MLK Would Never Shut Down a Freeway, and 6 Other Myths About the Civil Rights Movement and Black Lives Matter"
Janne Theoharis, Black Lives Matter"
15 July 2916
"Such historical revisionism is both dangerous and comfortable—dangerous because it grossly distorts how the civil rights movement actually proceeded, and comfortable because it allows many Americans to keep today’s movement at arm’s length. Key to the work of many civil rights organizations, from SCLC to the Congress of Racial Equality and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, was mass civil disobedience because they understood that injustice would not be changed without disrupting civic and commercial life. The civil rights movement made most Americans uncomfortable. The March on Washington was policed like a military battle; in Operation Steep Hill, the Pentagon put 19,000 troops on standby. Five thousand local and suburban police, National Guard troops and Army rangers were given riot-control training and were on duty that day.

* "Study Supports Suspicion That Police Are More Likely to Use Force on Blacks"
Timothy Williams, New York Times
07 July 2016
"The report found that although officers employ force in less than 2 percent of all police-civilian interactions, the use of police force is disproportionately high for African-Americans — more than three times greater than for whites."

* "Is There A 'War On Police'? The Statistics Say No"
Martin Kaste, NPR
15 September 2015
"Seth Stoughton, a former police officer and an assistant law professor at the University of South Carolina, has been collecting and analyzing these data going back decades. He says 2014 looked bad in comparison with 2013 mainly because 2013 was so good. '2013 was the safest year for police officers, ever,' he says. 'The safest year in recorded history.' In fact, in the larger scheme of things, 2014 looks pretty normal. The number of murders of police was about the same as 2012, and actually a lot lower than 2011. The long-term trend is even more encouraging: On average, only about half as many police are murdered every year now, as compared with the 1970s."

* "FBI Releases 2015 Preliminary Statistics for Law Enforcement Officers Killed in the Line of Duty"
FBI National Press Office
16 May 2016
"Preliminary statistics released today by the FBI show that 41 law enforcement officers were feloniously killed in the line of duty in 2015. This is a decrease of almost 20 percent when compared with the 51 officers killed in 2014."

* "Black Lives Matter: Grand Rapids’ Official Statement on the 'Am I Next?' 4Unity Rally"
Black Lives Matter: Grand Rapids
14 July 2016
"Before talks of unity, we must speak openly about how Black and Brown communities are viciously torn apart by systems and institutions of injustice and violence."

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