Guest Pastor Leon Benjamin. This podcast is designed to invite conversations around the Christian faith. Pastor Ellis rightly divides the word to reach and teach…
TW: Police Violence
This is a video of the @BaltimorePolice reported to be from earlier today.
— deray (@deray) August 11, 2018
A video is circulating of a Baltimore cop using extreme violence against an American citizen because that citizen told the cop to keep his hands off him and pushed the cop’s hand away after being pushed against the wall. The victim was then repeatedly punched even though he never tried to fight back which would have been within his human rights to defend himself by any means necessary, but as it is, he was left bloodied, battered and bruised. While the brutality is part of a larger system in how police operate in the United States, no one is more responsible for this episode of extreme violence than the individual perpetrator of the violence. The system of slavery enables and nurtures this culture among modern day slave catchers just as it has always done but individual cops are making individual choices to engage in this anti-social behavior.
With the skin color of the cop being the same as the victim, it would be constructive to focus on the system of slavery that produces such an injustice that is a part of the very foundation of this nation. As individuals, we are responsible for our individual actions and simply chalking up a Black cop beating a Black citizen to “white supremacy” is intellectually lazy if not intellectually dishonest. Racism lecturer and author, the late Dr. Frances Cress Welsing who said white supremacy is rooted in slavery, was once asked before she passed away if Black people are responsible for their actions in this system and she said absolutely they are responsible for their own conduct. It is important to mention this because there are some commenting on this incident who seem to be seeking to absolve the Black cop of his incorrect conduct as if he is under mind control.
Considering the significant numbers of non-white people working in the system to enslave American citizens and non-citizens alike, it seems illogical to take an issue of human rights and narrow it down to a one-dimensional color-coded issue when the facts are that victims of the system of slavery are multi-ethnic and the same applies to those who profit from and perpetuate such an inhumane system. The problem isn’t as shallow as civil rights either or even constitutional rights in the United States, it is about the human rights of each and every victim of state-sponsored violence and slavery in the United States, its colonies and beyond. During the era of slavery before the American civil war, the issue could accurately be spoken of in terms of black versus white as slavery was legally prescribed to non-white people only and specifically African descendant people. However, that simply is not the case in this era of 21st-century slavery and human trafficking.
Another counter racist lecturer and author named Neely Fuller Jr once said this isn’t about taking sides based on black and white but taking sides based on justice and non-justice if justice is what you are really aiming to produce. He also said that if you are trying to start a constructive public dialogue, you should find a way to increase your vocabulary and discuss issues of injustice without using the buzzword of racism because when you do, people become defensive and constructive dialogue breaks down thus preventing the implementation of solutions that can produce justice. Wise words from Mr. Fuller but because he isn’t “mainstream” people are not exposed to such logical strategies to produce justice and for those who have heard or read Mr. Fuller’s suggestions, it seems this suggestion has fallen on deaf ears. Talking about issues like police brutality in a system still practicing legalized slavery using the language of human rights seems a lot more logical, constructive and accurate than talking about it in the context of non-existent color coded rights if the idea is to promote justice for all because that is the only way true justice can exist.