Chris Christie’s not the chosen one– when when all else fails, demonize Black folk
[Speaking Truth To Power]
Last week the failing Republican presidential hopeful, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, despicably slandered the Black Lives Matter Movement by claiming the activist group calls for the murder of police officers
He thinks he can ride to the White House by demonizing those who oppose and protest against police violence. He pretends as if there are no corrupt and abusive police officers who actually commit violent crimes against African Americans.
Christie’s blatantly bigoted lie gives insight into the deep dishonesty politicians exhibit whenever the topic is related to institutional racism—and it application as a tool of oppression against Black America.
The tactic to delegitimize Black Lives Matter activists, and anyone protesting police brutality, is now clear: slander and defame those protesting police prejudice as people that are lawless, murderous malcontents. It seems that even Republicans don’t buy his narrative since Christie continues to sink in the polls.
On Sunday, during an appearance on CBS’ Face the Nation, Christie blamed President Obama for, supposedly, encouraging “lawlessness,” because the president recently characterized the concerns of the Black Lives Matter movement as a legitimate concern that must be finally addressed.
“He doesn’t back up the police. He justifies Black Lives Matter,” Christie said. “I don’t believe that that movement should be justified when they’re calling for the murder of police officers.”
When CBS’ host John Dickerson challenged Christie saying “They’re not calling for the murder of police officers,” the governor responded saying “Sure they are. Sure they are. They have been chanting in the streets for the murder of police officers.”
Assuming it’s true that some individuals do utter such chants is that representative of all people who oppose police crimes? Are we to presume that the governor himself does not oppose criminal conduct by police against unarmed civilians including officer Michael Slager who shot dead Walter Scott from behind in Charleston, South Carolina?
Governor Christie’s sickening slander against Black Lives Matter members is something we should duly note, not just because of the amoral nature of someone like Christie, but because it gives us a clear example of the insensitivity many feel towards African-Americans.
Christie doesn’t bother to furnish facts while making such a serious charge. But whenever some White person wants to attack Black people facts don’t seem to matter.
No doubt, these days are not happy ones for Christie—an example of this is symbolized by a recent temper tantrum the governor had when he recently reportedly cursed out Secret Service agents on a train coming from Washington.
Politicians with anger management problems should be kept as far away from the presidency as possible.
That really is the crux of Governor Christie’s vengeful attacks. With his presidential aspirations sinking faster than the Titanic, he is now trying to do what Donald Trump and Dr. Ben Carson have done: say outrageous things to try and gin up support from the regressive Republican base.
Unfortunately for Governor Christie he isn’t gaining any traction. Meanwhile he knowingly makes false accusations against those who reject police violence.
Christie’s attacks on the Black Lives Matter movement is important, in that it highlights the Republicans’ tendencies to inject racially-charged invectives in politics. When Christie talks about the “lawlessness” this is a way of saying that heavy-handed policing is necessary to control Black people.
Demonization of victims have been part of the American narrative of conquest and subjugation.
After Native Americans were massacred and removed from their land, they were characterized as “savages” in American popular culture. Some justified these genocidal acts by saying Native Americans, because they weren’t Christians, could be slaughtered—a claim that was endorsed with the blessing of the Vatican.
In the same way, a supposedly Christian nation demonized enslaved Africans as indolent cannibals who were better off on plantations in America as opposed to being free in Africa. To make this narrative credible, history has ignored or diminished African civilization including the inconvenient fact that all mankind owes its origins on the continent.
African Americans are cast as “menaces to society,” to justify the racist attacks throughout the history of the Black experience in this country. In the movie “Birth of a Nation” the Klan was portrayed as the defenders of purity of White women from would-be Black rapists. President Woodrow Wilson was a friend of Thomas Dixon, author of the book The Clansman, of which the movie was based on. Wilson was known for his racist sentiments.
In the contemporary era Republican candidate Trump makes blatantly racist statements targeting Mexicans. Now Christie would cast those who reject police violence –including the relatives of the many victims– as “murderers.”
This week police unions, and their apologists, have decided they want to boycott filmmaker Quentin Tarantino because he spoke frank truth about the police during last weekend’s Rise Up October protests. “When I see murders, I do not stand by,” said Tarantino. “I have to call a murder a murder and I have to call the murderers the murderers.”
Not surprisingly, police officials like NYPD Commissioner William Bratton are not happy with Tarantino. “Shame on him, particularly at this time when we are grieving a police officer. There are no words to describe the contempt I have for him and his comments,” Bratton said.
Bratton must know that police culture that coddles and condones vicious brutality against Black people—while it pretends to uphold “law and order”—is what is contemptible. These police leaders cannot handle the truth.
Mr. Tarantino’s use of the word murder clearly angers people like Bratton. Would they prefer we call them killers, as opposed to murderers? If the killing of Walter Scott wasn’t murder, then what was it?
Let’s recall that Southern sheriffs used to conspire with the Klan to murder Blacks. Today’s police apologists use similar justification for why they over-police Black communities. Like the Klan, they label Black people as a criminal class. Crime statistic are cited without mentioning the fact that Black unemployment has been double that of the White community at least for the last 50 years and more.
In Commissioner Bratton’s comments against Tarantino we hear the current narrative folks like him and Governor Christie are using. That somehow those who protest police violence are ultimately responsible for every violent incident against police officers.
The killing of NYPD Officer Randolph Holder is now being used, politically, to demonize anyone who protests against police violence. This is cynical and ugly.
Those who commit violence against officers are prosecuted. So police officers who commit violence against the civilians they’re supposed to protect must also face the law.
The longer that police retreat behind a Blue Wall of silence because they won’t “snitch” against cops who commit crimes against officers who commit crimes against civilians the more damage to their own trustworthiness.
Governor Christie and Commissioner do police a disservice by not calling on officers to expose those on the force who should not be entrusted with a gun.