Making cops and underclass blacks our scapegoats

Submitted for your consideration: it is impossible to prosecute the drug war WITHOUT systemic abuses and routine violations of individual rights. Our history guarantees that African Americans bear the brunt. No consent decree, sensitivity training, or community policing strategy will fix the fundamental contradiction. Instead of facing up to the facts, we outsource the consequences to working class cops and underclass blacks. Then we blame the people we’ve put in these impossible situations for the inevitable abuses and bloodshed.

  • Cops are no scapegoats…they are the problem, along with our justice system…especially the good ones who do nothing while the bad ones hurt. Blaming the oppressed is mean. As a non-police laborer in this country, I’m not allowed to not know the policies; only a police who goes to work is allowed to not know the laws. As a non-police laborer, if I am scared of my surroundings, I just have to deal with it; cops just get to kill. I think you’re grouping the wrong two groups together. Try grouping cops with other white men who don’t have a clue about racism.

  • The humans (good and bad) who are police officers are being asked to do the impossible on our behalf –

  • Of course you’d quote the Baltimore Sun, the only other group that loves cops in this city as much as you do.

  • My point is not that cops are lovable, it’s that they can’t be drug warriors and guardians of our rights at the same time.

  • They are being asked to do their job! If cops are scared of black people, they should leave their job. They need to learn to respect white and black humanity or get the hell out of their positions. Policing is for the brave because it is about defending laws, not brutalizing people. Just read the DOJ report. Why are you defending the cops and not the poor African-Americans you write about?

  • Who is a drug warrior? Last I checked, ISIS was the problem, not cocaine or marijuana.

  • And yes they can, Andrew. Don’t sell them short. If they take the badge, they do it so they can keep our community safe, not punish it for whatever ills in our past.

  • I’m not excusing the cops’ brutality. I’m wondering if it is also inherent to the system of laws they have to enforce

  • I don’t think it is. The DOJ report said as much, and I am inclined to trust an entity that knows about other enforcement agencies. I think brutality is linked to training and personal beliefs (that weren’t questioned during the training). Why would a young man running away from you (without having done anything) result in the young man’s death? It’s because hubris gets in the way and training doesn’t teach otherwise.

  • This might seem like a digression, but I think this article captures brilliantly how these subtle dynamics play out with many kinds of minorities:

  • I got a crazy idea, instead of prosecuing possession, if you hurt somone while on drugs, you knew what you were doing, you hang. Watch how fast they get treatment.