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Dr. Joyce Watford, an Educator and a Descendant of America’s Slaves

September 22, 2016

It is time to tell America that “systemic token justice” is not all right.  Systemic token justice is the same as systemic fake justice which is systemic no justice.  Therefore, there is no justice in a system that rewards cops with paid vacations who have murdered unarmed black men.  Only four days apart, two unarmed black men with hands up and attempting to comply with the law, and presenting no imminent harm to police officers, were gunned down!

On September 16, 2016, Terence Crutcher, an unarmed black man in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was gunned down by a white female cop, for no apparent reason other than that he was big black man “who looked like a bad dude,” said the guy in the helicopter footage. Four days later, on September 20, 2016, another unarmed black man, Keith Lamont Scott, while reading a book, as he sat in his car, met with a similar fate in Charlotte, North Carolina, when he was murdered by an overly aggressive black cop. How many more times will these scenes have to replay before people of moral conscience rise up in outrage and say to the nation that this is enough—that this kind of lawlessness, blatant racism, and racist genocide will not be tolerated any longer—enough is enough?

Crutcher was fatally shot because his car had stalled in the middle of the road, as he waited outside of it, with his hands above his head.  He was tassed by one policeman and fatally shot while on the ground by another officer.  It was obvious on camera and to the rest of us that he was of no apparent threat to any of the officers, yet they willfully incapacitated him and still fatally shot him, also at will!  Similarly, Scott was fatally gunned down by a black police officer who claimed Scott was an immediate threat to him but has failed to provide evidence showing how Scott was a threat to the officer’s life.

And now the police are claiming that both Crutcher and Scott were not complying with the law and the officers had no choice except to shoot to kill! But what the rest of us want to know (need to know) is, “What law gave these officers the right to shoot unarmed people who are posing no conspicuous threat to them?” Not even within the law or even under the pretense of the law should anyone in our country ever have the right (and the nation’s stamp of approval!) to murder another person—without receiving serious consequences for murdering someone who is not threatening to harm anybody!—And that should go for cops, too!  

However, both of the murdering cops above have been placed on paid leaves for gunning down unarmed black men. A paid leave is not a fitting punishment for an offense as serious as murder!  It is not a hard consequence or deterrent against breaking the law—not for anyone but especially not for cops who are charged with upholding the law—who are expected to set the bar and raise it for the rest of  us.

Yet, police officers in every police department across the country are sanctioned (and given the right) to murder unarmed black men without hard consequences, or for that matter, any consequences, when they do so.  Murderous, racist police officers (white and black) can murder nonwhite people, especially blacks and specifically black men, on a whim and then get rewarded for doing so!

Rewarding cops (and not punishing them) when they murder without proof of defense seems to be the approved code for handling such matters. However, because cops who murder do not lose anything as a consequence for shooting and killing unarmed black men, they recklessly continue to do it for lack of any skin off their backs. Typically, these racist, murderous cops do not suffer any economic consequences—which is why racism exists in the first place and which is why racist, murderous cops do not experience any stop-gates in the system to keep them from murdering unarmed black men.

If the nation and police departments were really interested in changing racist police culture, they would start hitting police departments and their murderous, racist cops in their pocketbooks—where it hurts the most and where the only real place of incentive exists—which must be an economic one—to get them to change—to stop the racist patterns of shooting and killing unarmed black men. As it stands now, no jobs and/or salaries are lost by renegade copsInstead, vacation and rest time (while still being paid) are typically given, which could be perceived as incentive to gun down unarmed blacks who only look like “bad dudes” to whites.  Other incentives to racially murder blacks are that communities (whites and blacks) come together and offer support to the murderous cops and their families—another example of a perceived economic advantage or gain for killing blacks.

Clearly, racist double standards are applied in terms of who gets to break the law without consequences and who gets rewarded instead of punished for breaking the law. Unlike other social institutions in the country, police departments and police officers across the board get to operate without reproach, punity, and/or public scrutiny or accountability.  Most other professions and/or careers in the country have state- and federal-regulated disciplinary boards (associations, agencies, or departments) that set guidelines for the standards and policies around qualifications and conduct within professions/careers, which are expected to be enforced at the state and local levels. With regard to the ongoing, publicly unacceptable police conduct against blacks (and other nonwhites), it appears that the police are not bound by any state- and/or federal-regulated disciplinary boards and that the police are policing themselves without accountability to any entities above themselves. Therefore, they get to set their own subjective law enforcement criteria which may be in conflict with contemporary social reform and objective scrutiny. If, however, police departments do have disciplinary boards, regulated at the state and federal levels, and we are still experiencing the ongoing escalation of police misconduct at the state and local levels, then the obvious conclusion would be that there may be corruption and conspiracy at the local, state, and federal levels. This organizational structure would provide embedded accountability to go after when violations/infractions occur. 

Presently, because of racial disconnects (between blacks and whites) in how police are perceived, it seems that a lot of law and order stereotypes are still in place, which influence how policemen are viewed and how they act in society and why they are painted with a broad brush.  However, we all know that in every group, there are both good and bad. The time is way overdue that we apply this information to the police, or we will never be able to confront the problem of racist, murdering policemen who discriminate against, brutalize, shoot, and kill unarmed black men. Nothing will ever change until we all stand together, stand up, and stand out against murderous, racist police. We are, as Hillary’s slogan reminds us, “stronger together”!

In conclusion, it is outrageously unacceptable to reward—with paid leaves—those racist, murdering cops who shoot and murder unarmed black men.  A paid leave amounts to a double paid-vacation—two vacations!—for killing black people and/or black men!  These racist, lawless, killer-cops really deserve to be fired from their jobs or put on leave without pay until due process and discovery have run their course.  Such cops are irresponsible, criminal, and unfit to serve in any operations that are charged with the protection and safety of all of us. We should allblack and white—be appalled and outraged at a system and a government that sanction racial genocide, discrimination, and divisiveness based on skin color and historic, systemic white supremacy!

The fact that the police officer who gunned down Scott is black does not mitigate the crime of murder committed against Scott in any way.  The culprit is still historic, systemic racism! Historic, systemic racism has always been rigged to train black people to do to other blacks what white racists have always done to blacks!  Scott’s cop-killer deserves the same across-the-board punishment we are seeking for white racist cop-killers who murder unarmed black men.  Racism comes in all colors, sizes, genders, and races.  It is what it is and must be dealt with when it rears its ugly head—in whatever shape, fashion, or form—whether it be an Oreo or a black skin in a white mask—such is the historical intent and/or dregs of both Colonialism and Assimilation!  

© 2016

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