Posted by: Khepera | Thursday, 23 July 2009

Police, Racial Profiling & Pigs in Uniform — The Stench is Still Strong & Unmistakable

First of all, this is not about Prof. Gates, though I don’t want anyone to think I’m just skipping over him. The salient political dynamics of this situation are part of the RNA/DNA of this nation — they are inherited, renewed/renewable, and only appear to diminish or slip beneath the surface when those tattooed with targets become complacent, and drop their guard.

IMHO, a few things set this particular scenario apart:

  • Prof. Gates is the internationally known Harvard professor who has appeared on television many times, so for locals to be unfamiliar with him is tough to explain away;

  • Prof. Gates happens to be a personal friend of the President of the United States;

  • In the heat of the moment, and subsequently, Gates has erred(imho) by his eruption of personal outrage, as though he, due to privilege, should be *above* such treatment. The more expansive & inclusive his comments had been, referencing how this can happen to anyone, regardless of station/insulation, the more widely embraced his situation would have been…without the necessary *translation*;

  • This event occurs in the midst of an extended & widely reported series of police/legal system abuses and murders across the country, from the release of two white men in Paris Texas, accused of dragging Brandon McClelland to death to the pattern of arrests of activists/hip hop artists Paradise Gray of X-Clan and Wise Intelligent of Poor Righteous Teachers. (FWIW, I was living in Houston, in the mid-90’s, when James Byrd was dragged to death in Jasper, Texas. That state is no joke, and the Bushes are no exceptions to the knuckle-dragging mindset common in Texas.)

That said, I was pleasantly surprised when Pres. Obama stepped up to speak directly — in response to a question — on at least the Gates situation, while addressing some of the broader issues.  Let me be clear:  Like many people of color in this country, I feel Pres. Obama is being WAAAAAY too soft on crackers.  [Before some of you take offense at that term, at no point have I suggested all white people are crackers.  However, if the glove fits….] It’s worth mentioning that the white woman(?) who placed the call has not been discussed much.  How long had she lived there to not know/recognize Dr. Gates.  It’s not like Cambridge is a standoffish community, which I can say having been there.  Yet, no matter the trigger, nothing absolves the cops’ behavior.

In many areas, I have said for months now that the single strongest move Pres. Obama could make in terms of national morale/support would be to step out of the way and allow the investigations & prosecutions of those perpetrating wrong — at ALL levels — to run their course, then apply the full weight of specified punishment, no free rides.  My sense is that if this were to occur — and we can throw in investigations/prosecutions of these police abuses — even the red state conservatives would applaud the fact that the playing field was levelled(however briefly), and no favorites were played.  This approach, instead of the disparity say, between how the banks/investment firms and the auto companies were handled in this economy by the White House.

In any case, if you’re interested, there’s a YouTube video of Pres. Obama’s full comments, so you can avoid the sliced versions circulating.

For me, the bottom line is that no person of color, no matter their demographics or notoriety/celebrity, can afford to step too freely anywhere in this country, if they plan to navigate the social minefield effectively. We exist within a social framework stoked & stygmatized by corporate media, augmented and reinforced by film, music & art, not to mention the role parents, family & religion play in the promotion and sustenance of this insidious virus. White supremacy/racism is not an accident;  it is not anecdotal, or by any stretch a casual or infrequent participant in our social exchanges — within our cultural communities as well as between them.  See also Dr. Francis Cress Welsing and her Cress Theory of Color Confrontation .

There are apologists, who would have us believe all sorts of dismissal perspectives about white supremacy, from “young men sowing wild oats” to ‘nonspecific social entrainment’.  I suggest a very simple test.  The next time someone (or you) try to explain away a racist act, expression or hate crime, simply shift the context — make it about domestic violence, or make the victim & perpetrator the same race(& class), and see if then, it is so easy to dismiss their behavior.  We remain on the culturopolitical wilderness of a young nation, barely a century away from the closing of the *frontier,* run by an adolescent culture(within the ages of civilizations), and these convulsions of hate & resentment are only going to get worse as the economy gets tougher.  You’ve been warned.


  1. Love that picture of Luxor!!!

    U REALLY ARE an EXCELLENT writer!!

    I trust all is well with you. Still doing warrior work. Love it!!

    Abundant Blessings.

  2. […] Continued here: Police, Racial Profiling & Pigs in Uniform — The Stench is Still Strong & Unmistakable […]

  3. This is a very amazing article.
    Thanks for that 😉

  4. Good stuff.

  5. Yes sir – racism white supremacy is a system. The business of racist man and racist woman.

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