Book Excerpt #2: "The Roots of Racism in American Policing"

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[Book Excerpt: "The Roots of Racism in American Policing"]
Benjamin: "The police 'Slave Patrol' system was created to protect the profits of these slaveholders who feared slave uprisings would economically disrupt their 'peculiar institution.”
Photo: YouTube

This week three North Carolina cops were fired for making racist recordings--including Kevin Piner (above) who said he wants a new civil war so he can slaughter Black people.

Author's note: For several weeks before the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, I published several excerpts from my forthcoming book "The Roots of Racism in American Policing: From Slave Patrols to Stop and Frisk." Because of the seriousness of COVID-19, I suspend the publishing of these excerpts. Unfortunately, racist killer-cops have shown they had no intention of suspending their murderous actions against our people even during a global pandemic.

Because of the recent murders of Rayshard Brooks, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, I will recommence the publishing of excerpts from my book.

The following is from the book's preface:

Unfortunately, because of a lack of historical analysis, and attempts to whitewash history, the racist roots of the relationship between Blacks, White America, and their police, is often not fully understood. Any real understanding of why America’s current police forces treat Black Americans in the manner they do must be viewed through the historical lens. Examining the genesis of American policing—especially, the one indigenous form of America policing known as the “Slave Patrol” system—is crucial in understanding why the institution of American policing see criminals whenever they see Blacks.

Many Blacks are aware police are always harassing and targeting them. Yet, do we really deeply understand that this behavior has been mandated from the very first moment American policing started interacting with us? How much has really changed since then? Black America needs to know it was authorized by those slave-holding White plantation owners known so lovingly as the “Framers” and “Founding Fathers.” George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and James Monroe were all part of the so-called “Virginia Dynasty,” of early American presidents—who were Slave plantation owners. The police “Slave Patrol” system was created to protect the profits of these slaveholders who feared slave uprisings would economically disrupt their “peculiar institution.” Trafficking in the bodies of Africans made these White men, and White America, “filthy rich.”

Now, we know the coming of Emancipation did not mean the economic exploitation of African-Americans would end. In fact, the Emancipation Proclamation was likely only instituted as a military stratagem to save President Lincoln from the sure defeat he faced at the hands of General Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis and the Confederacy—since, at that point, the two-year-old war was going badly for Lincoln and the Union. After Emancipation, a new form of Slavery emerged utilizing the loophole in the 13 Amendment—through which, the pervasive trickery of using police to target and criminalize Black people was used with devastating effect. The criminalizing of Black America continues to the present and is being ratcheted up by America’s current race-baiting “grab them by the pussy” President Donald Trump. Regressive racist Jeff Sessions, when he was still the attorney general, made sure the gains (consent decrees, in particular) that were initiated by former attorney generals Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch were weakened if not eradicated. Indeed, former Attorney General Sessions complained that these initiatives have hurt police morale. Apparently, holding police accountable for their crimes against African-Americans can’t be done if it hurts the morale of criminal cops. This is an interestingly idiotic racist rationale. Current Attorney General William Barr is no better.

If Black-Americans are to be fully successful in combating the scourge of an institutionally racist police system, we must have a clearer fuller appraisal of the true purpose of police, especially as it relates to us. In relation to Black America, the primary purpose of police has always been to oppress and terrorize us. That’s just the awful reality. Driving that message home (especially, to younger African-Americans) is one of the primary purposes of this book. In my view, if we continue to ignore the true historic realities of American policing we will not be able to fully realize just what it will take to finally bring an end to the crimes that are perpetrated by America’s police against our people. A secondary purpose is to propose alternative ways of fighting against institutionalized police brutality and to articulate for the need for real community control over police (including by, eventually, having our own independent police, sheriffs, etc.) who patrol segregated Black communities—something that is routinely done in White communities. We must ask ourselves many questions including: why do we allow White cops (who would never live in segregated Black communities) to police us, while they take the money, they make from their salaries home to their lily Snow White havens? Would segregated White communities allow Black police to police White communities? Would they allow Blacks to craft police policy for White neighborhoods? Who constructs and implements police policy for segregated Black communities? Do Blacks ever have a seat at that table when policing priorities are being decided? These are all questions we must start addressing in earnest if we intend to stop police brutalization of Black people.

This book proposes to show that: American policing has always been a force for the oppression and victimization of Black America from its very beginning--and that reality has not really changed. Only continued mass protests, and political action--like the ones that have now started after the heinous murder of George Floyd--can force the change we need. The police are not, and never were, in Black communities to “protect and serve” us. They are there to “protect” White America from us. The main job of America’s police, in the past and now, is to keep the racial shackles around Black necks and to stop our people from progressing. The police have always been a primary instrument of institutional racism, suppression, and murder. That is why Congress and the White House show little concern when police kill and murder us—even when they are choking us to death or shooting us down dead by shots to the back. Without sustained maximum political pressure, Washington will never act decisively to stop police violence against African-Americans. The sooner Black Americans accept this grim reality: that America’s police are there to terrorize and oppress us for a racist system, is the sooner we will be able to fight these forces with more unified effectiveness. With racist politicians like Donald Trump giving their blessings to the police to continue brutalizing us, the time is now for Black America to stand up strong to police prejudice, violence, and murder.

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