Tyre Nichols Was Killed By Black Police Officers Because the Whole System Is Racisthttps://www.teenvogue.com/story/tyre-nichols-police-officers-black
In America, we routinely witness white police officers murdering Black people, though these crimes are rarely called murders. Thousands of people may spend months, sometimes even years, protesting and demanding that officers be charged for the killings we saw them commit. But those officers are very seldom prosecuted or convicted, and even when they are even after theyve been convicted some segments of white America will still find a way to defend them.
We recently saw five Black Memphis police officers get charged with murder just 19 days after they killed 29-year-old Tyre Nichols before we saw the video footage, before we protested and marched all over the country. This time, many in the media insisted, the footage would show the most brutal police assault weve ever seen. Everything that played out before and after authorities debuted the video of the vicious attack that led to Nichols death heightened anticipation, as if it was the long-awaited release of Dr. Dres Detox, and is a testament to several things most Black people have long known.
First: There doesnt need to be a white person in the room for white supremacy to function. Second: Although white supremacy wholeheartedly welcomes Black cops (and any other Black person who wants in) to be its agents, it will never protect you as it protects its own. Third: Diversifying police departments doesnt address the fact that policing is as systemically racist as it is innately violent. All too often, hiring more Black and brown officers just provides us with the privilege of being brutalized by people who look like us.
As James Baldwin wrote, Black policemen were another matter. We used to say, If you must call a policeman for we hardly ever did for Gods sake, try to make sure its a white one. A Black policeman could completely demolish you. He knew far more about you than a white policeman could and you were without defenses before this Black brother in uniform, whose entire reason for breathing seemed to be his hope to offer proof that, though he was Black, he was not Black like you. Or in the words of N.W.A, who put it simply: But dont let it be a Black and a white [cop], cause theyll slam ya down to the street top, Black police showin out for the white cop. The danger posed by the Black police officer is well known and documented across the Black community.
A lot of whites don't understand about blacks in the service of white supremacy. They get really confused about it. Black people are well aware of the phenomenon.
Tyre Nichols was killed by black police officiers because black police officiers are no different than white police officiers when they are in the same position of authority. I never understand where this "If black/female/older/younger people were in this position things would be better." Nope. People are people. Not every individual is the same, but across a population of humans, behavior will skew in a similar direction, all other circumstances being equal.
in the OPs source. It is actually suggesting much the same thing you posted - that it isnt the individual people in the system, its the system itself.
the white ones, so that is in fact true.
"No white people need be present for it to be about race." Wow. Yet a black person anywhere near an occurrence makes it about race.
There's a black councilwoman who was shot to death, no info yet on who shot her, and one of the first posts is that she was shot because she's black.
It is upsetting to those who make every black misfortune about race that these officers were black, and so this post would of course be made - a way had to be made to figure out who white supremacy was the real cause.
but generally only whites can wield the power of institutional racism. There is a difference.
Ordinary cops and other white citizens? And that's why these black cops messed up. So black cops harmed a black person because of institutional white racism. Come on. Maybe people are also quite similar, maybe black and white cops are more alike to each other than they are to non-cops.
quite a lot. That is sort of its definition. And the topic at hand is whether Tyre was killed - at least in part - by institutional racism brought down upon him by the institutions agents. The race of those particular agents is more irrelevant than most white people understand or even want to think about.
Some black Africans helped facilitate slavery in this country 200 years ago. Right wingers sometimes point to this fact as evidence that slavery wasnt really all that racist. How could it be? Blacks participated in the slave trade. Are we to accept that argument? It sounds like you might if you think the fact that the Memphis cops were black somehow means this had nothing to do with institutional racism.
So we should raze the Constitution and the country and start over? Good grief, even black people are part of "institutional racism." Sounds like a determination to be forever victims on the parts of some people. Then they never have to be responsible for what they get or don't get out of life.
I may be failing to clearly articulate my point.
Perhaps the question to ask is: Do you think those 5 officers would have been less likely to have beaten Tyre Nichols to death if he had been white? If you answer that question yes, how do you describe or label that inconsistency as anything other than institutional racism?
Black officers think it would be OK for them to beat a black person but they wouldn't dare beat a white person?
No one knows, though. Like every time there is a story about cops arresting some white person, claiming had the arrestee been black they would have been killed. No one knows what that cop would have done. Likewise we don't know what the black cops in this case would have done.
It's a rare event in any case. Most people survive arrest, even most arrested black people. How else would we notice disproportionate numbers of black people in prison?
But thanks for discussion, rather than resorting to personal evaluation responses.
to a white arrestee. But Im talking statistically, on a macro scale. Youre right - we dont know what those cops would have done in this specific instance. Their response could have varied greatly. But because they were policing in an environment that treats arrestees disproportionately based upon race, I think its fair to assume it might have gone differently. And youre also right that the vast majority of arrestees survive the encounter. But I think its also fair to ask why some do not, and whether it was because of what they did, or because of how they looked.
But back to the original topic - someone on The Problem with Jon Stewart this week said (and Im paraphrasing) that the current narrative is that we have some instances of people with a violent nature and a racist perception making their way into law enforcement. But perhaps the fact that these cops were also black should make us question that narrative. Perhaps some people enter the profession and are changed by it institutionally.
That was kind of a profound realization for me - as a white male - since I had sort of bought into the conventional narrative. I had not really looked at it from that perspective, and Im a little bothered that I hadnt. It feels like I had privilege blinders on.
to be saying is that black people have no agency.
Since I am a woman and not black, I can say that if you made the same argument about women, I would be mighty peeved.
the bidding of his principal in a particular circumstance doesnt imply that all black people lack agency for their own actions. Im not sure how youre drawing that line and would ask you to elaborate (maybe Im missing something).
All Im really trying to point out is that when an institution like the Memphis Police Dept (or the Justice system more broadly) values a black mans life less that the life of a white man, racism is the driving force behind that distinction. It doesnt really matter who the institution uses to carry out that goal - white cops, black cops - its still racism.