Years ago riots, lootings and fires broke out when MLK was shot to death by what a civil jury later concluded was a “major high-level conspiracy.” I bet you didn’t know that.
But the rioters knew that and outbursts gripped 110 US cities. The rioters got to within blocks of the White House.
Earlier in our history, there was a slave market within blocks of the White House, too. Now it’s a park. Things CAN change.
I spent three years living in the hood as a missionary. That’s where I learned that you don’t call the police if you can possibly help it. Why not? To a white, middle-class person, the cop is your helper. Why not call them? Because you will not get justice from the police, you will get humiliation at best and abuse at worst.
In the hood, the police could stop you any time on any pretext and even take the money from your wallet! When I heard about that incident, I wanted to report it, but my black friends just laughed. Nothing would come of reporting it but worse harassment.
Back in the hood, a 20-something cop with a blond crewcut was raping young women and, of course, getting away with it. Try reporting rape by a cop-to the cops-and see how that goes. The women spoke of defensive measures-escape routes when they saw his car coming. Cops were in on the drug racket-up to their eyeballs. The Po-Po were not cruising around to protect and serve in that neighborhood.
As a white middle-class person, it took me quite a while to get that. I was used to looking to cops as protectors. But this was a different world with different rules. The cops prowled around here like great white sharks. Were there no good cops? Of course, cops are human beings, capable of both surprising good and reeking evil.
So an alternative justice system had arisen in the hood. For example, when a white cable TV guy molested a little black girl, I thought surely this time the police should be called? “No,” her male relatives said, “Don’t worry about it.” I could not understand their inaction, but they just meant I should not worry about it because they had it covered.
They grabbed the cable guy next time he was back in the hood, took him to a garage and beat the crap out of him. Cable guy would not report the beating-some weird Code of Justice, unwritten but understood by, apparently, everyone but myself; an unwritten Code to replace the White one, which did not apply here.
And I think that’s tragic; tragic for them and for our country.
Few Americans read foreign papers, but if they did, they would see how America is mocked for its persistent racism, while still having the gall to lecture other countries about human rights. We white folks don’t notice the racism through which we swim, any more than a fish notices that it is wet.
What to do? We need a moral awakening; we need a determination to end this shameful situation. Cops are supposed to be professionals-hold them to professional standards. The professional standards need to be reformed, police need to be cleaned up and disciplined; some need to go to jail.
Not someday, TO-DAY. That freedom train is long overdue.