Dear N.Y.P.D. and All Police: ALL LIVES MATTER…YES, INCLUDING YOURS!
First and foremost, my condolences go out to the families of the two men and NYC police officers who were killed in the line of duty a few months ago. I meant to post about this matter at the time it happened, but somehow got sidetracked. So here goes…ALL LIVES MATTER, and it is never pleasant to see anyone lose a brother, sister, son, daughter, niece, nephew, or any other loved one, no matter how it comes about. That said, the comments made about New York Mayor Bill De Blasio in that moment by NYPD union president were out of line, in my opinion, and a direct attempt to agitate an already blazing inferno between law enforcement and American citizens, both in New York and around the country. He should have been sharply reprimanded and disciplined from the highest levels for his tactlessness, reckless, and unprofessional commentary and action. A period of suspension at the least, to take a moment to reevaluate whether he is of the right psychological mindset to lead one of the largest, most well-armed and brutal police forces in the United States. The fact that this did not happen, again indicates to me the lack of accountability for law enforcement officials and their actions.
While I empathize deeply with these humans and their families for the losses they have incurred, it takes a blind fool to fail to – or refuse to, rather – associate their murders to the citizens vs police boiling point that has been reached through the violence and additional over-policing that has resulted from the splattering of so much American blood across American soil – disproportionately black and brown blood but is increasingly incorporating white blood – at the hands of local, state, and federal law enforcement. The argument can also be made that there is a direct connection to the spike we have witnessed in the prison populace in America since the 1980s. This recent heightened awareness swirls around the silent genocide that has been taking place right underneath all of our noses for several decades now, under the guises of a fabricated War on Drugs, failed policies of Law and Order that have, in fact, created more criminals, and a “get tough on crime” philosophy in America that insists on not taking note of the mental state of many of its citizens due to constant social trauma. American presidents of the past – Nixon, Reagan, both Bush’s, Clinton – have centered entire election campaign platforms around these myth-made-real in the minds of Americans, spoofs.
Connections are Everywhere: You may not be aware that statistics indicate that when the so-called War on Drugs of the 1970-1980s was launched, initially by POTUS Richard Nixon, crime in America was actually at an all-time low, with around 300,000 humans being warehoused in prisons at the time. So there was no real need for a “war” of this nature to ever be initiated. So what was that all about? This alleged “war” has not truly been one waged against illegal substances or drug dealers, but one waged against the poor, black and brown people desperate to survive. It would go on to cripple and devastate entire communities around the country, turning millions into criminals and/or addicts. This ‘war’ was waged within communities that already lacked employment opportunities, and were already the victims of poor education systems and shabby resources, which as a result worsened its inhabitants’ ability to actively prepare for participation in a world that was moving rapidly from one based around industrialization and manufacturing, to one much more global in scope – a world based around hi-technology, and would require a specific education and skill set in order to thrive. Millions were left behind by this! The aftereffects of these immoral and federally supported efforts against this group of people have been far-reaching, reverberating still to the tune of now more than 2.2 million of disenfranchised among us via incarceration. A staggering number of others remain under some level of law enforcement supervision. Of all of these lives harmed, a large portion of their offenses were non-violent and the punishment did not match the crime because within the ‘Get Tough on Crime’ philosophy were embedded longer and harsher sentences for crimes of that nature, such as simple possession of narcotics, etc. The majority of those incarcerated were drug users and addicts needing rehabilitation from the very drugs that were intentionally implanted into their communities; they were not dealers needing prison time as punishment. Opportunities for a quality education, employment and fair pay would have been much more plausible gestures than the heroine and crack cocaine they decided to “gift” our American ghettos.
The real criminals and thugs here are not necessarily wearing baggy jeans, hoodies, and Timberland boots as we have been led to believe; but many (not all) of them wear suits today; ties, camouflage gear, and uniforms bearing shiny badges pinned to their chests with patches bearing the American flag symbol attached to their shoulder. That is whose interest our law enforcement are truly sworn to protect and serve – whether they are aware of it or not. Let’s see if I can’t be a little more clear – The original purpose of policemen was to protect the State and the assets of its rich and wealthy from other citizens they felt might threaten it – poor and black citizens. Its purpose is to keep you and me out! Our benefit is an ancillary one, at best. And to you, the officers who watch your colleagues perform foul deeds and say nothing, you are accomplices to those deeds – Shame on you!
The fact that police union members and leaders – in unison and in public – decided to disrespectfully turn their backs on Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, simply because he chose to speak out against and question their policing ethics, tactics and practices, should speak volumes to all of us. I applaud him for speaking up – it’s about time somebody with some political juice grew a pair and did so! Kudos, Mayor de Blasio! Perhaps his empathy spills out because recent events hit a bit close to home for him. Maybe his concerns have a little something to do with the fact that his wife is Black/African American, as well as the two biracial children they share. You see, love sees no color, so his concern lies with the love for his son and his family, regardless of his skin color. Having a conversation with his teenage (mixed black and white, but considered Black by America’s one-drop rule) son, cautioning him to be careful when encountering law enforcement in any way, is an intelligent, wise, and necessary conversation to have with any young black man living in today’s America – for the sake of their very lives! This should not be held against him in any way, or against any parent with the interest of protecting their child. If he deems it necessary to have such a conversation with his own son – who one might think would be shielded from harm in some way – how much more should we all who are at a much lower level of sociopolitical status and influence? He obviously feels his son’s life is in potential danger daily, as well as the rest of ours.
What the future holds for America as it pertains to the relationship shared between law enforcement and the Black community is largely unknown at this point, but historical and recent events would indicate that it is not a positive one, and a long fight lies ahead. Just as during the Civil Rights Period, the federal government is dragging its feet about aggressively getting involved, so the growing discomfort from this toxic virus swells in the belly of America. You would think they would have learned from the history that precedes us; its almost as if someone(s) want things to boil over.
Today we have an emerging police state that apparently feels it is above the law – whose actions should not be questioned; one that holds citizens highly accountable when one of their fellow officers loses a life, but does not want to be be held equally accountable when their carelessness, recklessness, and lack of compassion has claimed triple the amount of (black) American lives through brutality, murder, and incarceration, destroying entire families and whole communities, leaving innumerable children fatherless…and/or motherless in many cases. There’s this thing called cause and effect – every cause has an effect. You cannot enact a cause without there being some sort of effect that follows, i.e. The Gulf War and the long-range effects it has had on life in the Middle East. The effects of their mistreatment toward Black Americans, appears to be an open revolt against them. What a complete mess we have on our hands right now…and the origin of everything we are experiencing with regards to this dilemma we face, stems directly from imperialist ideals that date back centuries. This ideology begat America’s white supremacy and racism sicknesses, which begat racist laws and public policies aimed at continuously oppressing a certain group of people – African descendants. Some may choose not to see or to accept this reality, but it is a very sad and ugly truth that must be addressed.
There is undoubtedly a greater narrative to play out here. Only time will tell what exactly that narrative will be. Some of us already know it, though we still hope for the better.
20 BradfordSpoke 15
Bradford Speaks is a Life Architect, Coach & Youth Speaker, who desires to wake up humanity to see a world that could exist if only it could employ more love and less hate and war. He seeks to speak to and inspire our youth to live at a higher level of consciousness, and to see themselves truly as their brother’s keeper. He is also an author and self proclaimed philosopher. You may visit his company’s site, Bradford Speaks Life Management, LLC to learn more about his work, to schedule individual sessions, or book him to speak to your Youth organization.