« In the Age of Obama, Still Playing the Race Card - washingtonpost.com | Main | Freudian Typos »

January 10, 2009


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


jelani, i think you are on to something here... the push must be unified and strategic and aimed specifically at the "police" establishment, that trains and arms these "fools", not the singular cop.



I agree. I think economic boycotts are a highly effective tactic. The major corporations located in these cities should start feeling the heat when killings like these go down in their towns.

chris nioskerfjj

Hello my friend. This is one of the most well thought out statements on this issue that i've ever seen.
I'm white. I think Barack Obama is scary (because of his politics, not his color), I'm Republican, and i agree with everything you wrote 100%. It is really hard to be a cop in an inner city setting where a disproportionate amount of crime is black on black. To ask a cop to ignore this fact is asking the impossible. If i were a cop in the back hills of Virginia, or some small Idaho town known for white supremacists, i'd be concerned if i was dealing with a white guy that had short hair, and i might overreact to any sudden moves by him, regardless of whether or not i 'knew' he was a white supremacist or not.
Until the black crime rate goes down in inner city neighborhoods, AND until the police are required to face consequences such as the ones you mentioned in your very well written piece, I'm afraid that you are correct that little will change.

I believe it's a two-fold problem, and both sides need to work at changing. Like it or not, cops wind up dealing with black kids a lot more in dangeraous situations, and they are a little more on edge because of this. But that is no excuse for being trigger-happy. They need to be held to account when they over-react. But at the same time, the black community needs to fight hard against the hip-hop/no snitching culture which has created the dangerous neighborhoods which police must patrol.
It's a sad situation, and both sides need to change.
Thank you again for your well reasoned piece.


I'm not sure if Chris nioskerfjj.....really took heed to your article amidst trying to hand you kudos for such a "well written" article. I won't even bother going into detail on how that cliche' is considering that you are a 39 yr. old professor.

I am actually a very near and dear friend of the above mentioned, Robbie Tolan. Here is the INITIAL problem with law enforcement and our society in general....GUNS. But since we've traveled down a road that is highly irreversible. Let us continue, power belongs to those that have "might" now, the cops chose to show this via guns and ammunition the criminal community responded valiantly. Thus we have a situation where, ultimately mindset coupled with opportunity will play the biggest role in deterring crime.

Now, police brutality, I'm afraid is out of the mix. Police brutality, especially in the south was used as an intimidation factor. To simply suggest that crime caused' itchy trigger fingers, would be disingenuous and misinformed. Police brutality existed way before inner city crime and definitely before you saw the likes of black on black crime. WHICH may I remind people that "black on black" crime has more to do with proximity and locale then anything else. Simply put, the officers of the U.S. are taught to view their constituents totally different then any other developed nation......

They are taught to control and not to serve, you won't even find this in China....( I studied and interned in Shanghai and Beijing)....so the mindset on the side of the police MUST change. Consequences, strict, I might add must await them when they go rogue or vigilante. If not, you will see more citizens taken up arms then ever before.....oh and I'm from Texas, and members of the Republic of Texas (U.S. separatists movement).....have killed more police officers in a day then "inner city" crime has managed to do in a year......yet where is the profiling on them?


Another novel approach might be for "the community" to begin approaching African American police officers, for several reasons.

First, to put racial pressure on them to break the blue wall of silence and speak out about their murderous colleagues. As black men, they have to feel some kind of way about these killings. Second, to have them testify about the training received by all police. Since black officers don't manage to kill innocent whites, they are best qualified to testify about how officers are TRAINED to respond to supposedly dangerous suspects. The black officers can explain how they somehow manage their fear before they become homocidal.

Until black officers begin shooting unarmed whites in the same numbers I have to chalk up these mureders to race/racism. Yes, the "R" word! If you are that darned afraid of black people GET ANOTHER JOB.

The comments to this entry are closed.