The crux of the tired, bad-apples cliché is that some of those apples are evil and corrupt; the trite adage of a few bad ones spoiling the whole bunch paints an entire group as rotten.
And bumper-sticker slogans can’t shed light on racial disparity, injustice or oppression; they carry implications too grave.
The fact is, a power-hungry authority figure has no business carrying a badge, let alone a gun. When they do, it can lead to unnecessary probation violations or longer prison sentences on one end; but on the other is death.
Gripped by horror, we watched a callous killer squeeze the breath and life out of a fellow citizen, a brother.
Hearing him cry for his mother and bearing witness as he crossed the Pearly Gates marked a watershed in the history of America.
All the while, the others stood by, armed and silent. To be sure, if it were his brothers, they would have had the book thrown at them on the spot.
Being colorblind is not good enough. Lady Justice must wear her blindfold; yet too often, those with the power can and do take it off.
When U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar was the Hennepin County attorney in Minnesota, there were 30 people killed by police officers: not one of them reaped consequences (King & Hayes, 2020).
This flies in the face of the claim that no one is above the law. Turning a blind eye to the rampant malfeasance and chicanery made them complicit in George Floyd’s murder.
In solidarity, the nation demanded justice for Floyd. And yet, as the sun set on May 29, unrest infiltrated the peaceful protests.
Live coverage of lootings stretched from Minneapolis to Memphis, D.C. to Cincinnati, Atlanta to L.A., Brooklyn to Bakersfield, and Houston to San Jose.
White ANTIFA members pulled up in a maroon Mercedes and passed out bricks to young black boys (You.Tube, 2020).
They chanted, “Black Lives Matter” while torching minority-owned businesses. Target may have insurance, but the single black mother who worked there as a cashier does not.
How is she going to feed her children now? Where will her neighbors shop for groceries? Indelible to the mind was the anguish on their faces.
Beating store owners trying to protect their livelihood and the killing of David Dorn, a 77-year-old black man, streamed live on Facebook, is savagery. All black lives matter, even when they are retired police officers.
Tearing down neighborhoods, instead of building them up, is a backward trajectory; so are the rituals of submission and genuflection.
It’s the poor, minority communities, who will find out if defunding the police will lead to lawlessness, intimidation or a rise in black-on-black crime.
At the same time, incarceration rates will rise, and recidivism will go up so long as punishment has a monetary incentive.
The leaders who have the power now are the same ones who rallied during the civil rights movement in the 1960s; like the devil disguised as a defender, they hamper school choice.
They keep the people dependent to stay in control.
Bob Woodson, a veteran of the civil rights movement, said that this is more of a class issue than one of race; he doesn’t grasp what is meant by systemic racism.
He concluded: “… [O]ne of the great promises we gave to low-income blacks is that if you were to elect blacks to public office, through voting rights act, and we were running those institutions, that all of black America would be better off.
“In the past 50 years, 22 trillion dollars have been spent in poverty programs, 70% goes not to the poor, but those who serve poor people, so many of those people taking office use this money to create a class of people who are running these cities.
“And now, after 50 years of liberal Democrats running the inner-cities, where we have all of these inequities that we have; race is being used as a ruse, as a means of deflecting attention away from critical questions, such as why are poor blacks failing in systems run by their own people, if race was an issue; even the criminal justice system.
“And if we continue to look at life through a racial prism when evil wears a black face it will escape detection; and therefore correction.”
He added, “There are two people that I think are destroying this country, and that is guilty white people; and angry, rich, entitled blacks, who continue to play the race card … and they don’t have to live with the consequences of their advocacy. …
“Poor people are being hustled by these middle-class politicians; as Malcolm X said, they’re being bamboozled, scammed, hoodwinked.
“And one day, that sleeping giant is going to wake up and understand who the real culprit is … people who look like them who are failing to use their positions to profit the least of God’s children, instead they’re using it to benefit themselves and their own group” (Woodson, 2020).
RAINA FISHER is a writer and child activist who is working on her first novel, and lives on County Home Road near Paris. Her email address is email@example.com.