Another question for Robert O’Brien and those who would deny systemic racism in policing: Do you at least admit that there was a time in this country when such a thing was real? Was systemic racism within law enforcement a thing in say, the 1960s? The ’30s? Before that?
I would say this is the crux of the problem. Most police, Black nor White, understand America’s first police were slavepatrollers and slave catchers. It’s not taught in police academies for obvious reasons, so not to shame a White policing system which continually stays in business to employ White men to police Black bodies.
They allowed Blacks to join in on the action too. Pretty amazing to think about from a historical perspective. It’s the equivalent of a descendant of former slaves signing up to catch their own people for descendants of former slaver owners and an institution that condoned slave catching and owning slaves. Mindboggling, but I digress.
Modern policing stems from policing Black bodies for slaveowners. Today, policing creates jobs for mediocre White men and provides city, county, and state governments with free labor (via jails and prisons) to do all sorts of things from making license plates, landscaping, making hand sanitzer during pandemics, and training police dogs.
American policing is inherently racist.
It’s the reason White communities aren’t policed the same way Blacks ones are despite White people being the majority of people in the nation possessing the majority of communities/land in this country. How is it that 13% percent of a national population can fill up all the jails and prisons if there wasn’t a intentional effort to put them there? No one ever gives this any thought.
It’s like having a five-pound bag of white sugar and you remove one-pound of that sugar, replacing it with brown sugar in the same bag. If you shake all the sugar up and pour it in a bowl, you’re still going to see more white sugar than brown. The contents of that bow of sugar would be overwhelmingly White. That’s what the criminal justice system should look like. It’s what jail and prison populations would look like if policing wasn’t racist and if the justice systems were fair.
But there not, and we know they are not.
America is racist, policing is racist, policing data is skewed and racist, and every system we have operated by any White government is inherently racist.
We want systemic change, not policy reform, because you cannot police individual racists. As long as racism is beneficial to perpatrators, nothing will change.