Shocking footage emerged of four police officers ‘arresting’ 46-year-old George Floyd from Minneapolis; one of them can be seen kneeling on his neck and crushing his airways in the damning video clip. This has set Twitter and social media ablaze with controversy and has firmly re-ignited the police brutality debate which, has seemingly become a bi-monthly occurrence these days. He can be heard in the horrendous clip choking, wheezing as he gasps for air. “Help, I can’t breathe”, “Everything hurts, please stop”. Truly harrowing to hear.
The four police officers have since been “separated from employment” pending an investigation into the case. The police officers in question claimed that Floyd was ‘resisting arrest’ after being arrested for matching the identity of a man involved in a reported ‘forgery’. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, responding to questions of the filmed officer’s unorthodox restraint methods said “it’s not a technique that our officers get trained on” and that relieving them of duty was ” the right thing for our city”.
Once again, we are left with only three options like we are with every one of these tragic instances. It can be boiled down to racist, premeditated intent, a case of “over-zealous” cops or outright police incompetence, and malpractice during arrest protocol. Many of us will instantly leap to the first, having been pre-conditioned by morally questionable political and media narratives to think that way. Do I blame rioters and protesters in Minneapolis? Not.
You’re telling me that if you’re viewing a media narrative that spoon-feeds death after death, heinous clip after heinous clip, and depicts a seemingly untouchable branch of law enforcement bullying a ‘black underclass’ – you wouldn’t think this is instantly racist? I would.
Whether the ‘murder’ was racially motivated, we don’t know as of yet – and in some cases, we might not ever know (although the lack of compassion shown to a man in agony might make a compelling case for saying so). However, with western black communities rightly up-in-arms, we’re right on the cusp of racial tensions reaching a fever pitch.
As explained in the last policy brutality piece covering Ahmaud Arbery’s death the narrative cooked up by political hacks and journalists/activists is blown out of the water. When factoring in crime rates, black people are not disproportionately killed by cops.
The problem is what the narrative does. It suggests that isolated cases of police brutality must be indicative of a wider problem of systemic racism that warrants the need to tear down fundamental American institutions. This is done by souring the relationships between black individuals and the police.
Police aren’t stupid (contrary to popular opinion). They know where dodgy areas are in their towns and cities. If you’ve soured relationships between blacks and police, not only are police less likely to patrol black areas and help reduce crime, but they’re more likely to be “on-edge” when going into potentially life or death situations. Ergo, more innocent blacks are likely to die, crime rates are likely to jump up, and presumably, the police are more at risk as well, amongst all the vitriol.
And to what end? It’s all a political power grab. The Democrats and people in power are spinning a narrative against republicans by playing into the idea that blacks are being hunted en masse, which is not supported by statistics. The narrative they create damages the fabric of a cohesive society, only to sit back and pretend it’s just formulated out of thin air to get things (votes and power) from black people – it’s nothing short of political extortion and racketeering.
The price of this? More black lives lost. A permanent racial subordination of the black class. Increased crime rates due to lack of policing. A venomous attitude to authority (many of whom are just doing their jobs and are law-abiding citizens), and a divided society, forced to see the world through the twisted purview of race by the very people who claim to help them.
The truth is, racism is out there it’s a matter of finding it. But to do that, you need to eliminate falsehoods and appropriately deal with instances to make examples of them. In a climate where racism is thrown about so flippantly, giving rise to what is in effect a “boy-who-cried-wolf” complex around much of the community, genuine cases won’t be taken seriously if this continues.
To conclude, a quick message to the black community.
You’re not being ‘hunted’ by cops like they say you are.
Society isn’t more racist than it was before like they say it is.
The world isn’t an innately horrible and racist place that’s out to keep you down like they imply it is.
Until we work to expel this damning narrative, true racism can never be found and extinguished. You’re given the same rights as every individual born in America and the same goes for those in the western world. Use them, exercise them – and if you find racism directly impeding your path to success, we’ll all stand by you in helping to eradicate the backward ideology blocking your way.