Message To Jeb Bush: Institutional Racism And Police Crimes Aren't About "Family Values"

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Jeb Bush royal lineage-- Daddy's job, brother's job, now my job...

[Speaking Truth To Power]

New Attorney General Loretta Lynch will start off on a serious note by investigating the Baltimore Police Department's practices.

No doubt a DOJ probe will expose ugly practices similar to some of the ones revealed when DOJ investigated Ferguson's Police Department (FDP). In Ferguson there was a conspiracy involving the City and FDP; crimes were concocted against Africans-Americans; false arrests and imprisonments by detaining innocent people were made; lives and families were destroyed; and doubtless, the aggressive policing caused the death of Michael Brown.

To date there has been no prosecution of Ferguson officials and police officers for these documented crimes. Police Chief Tom Jackson resigned with a year's salary and six months health insurance coverage.

And for several months now the problem of police prejudice against Black America has been exposed to the nation, and world, especially, since more of these outrages are being increasingly captured on video.

Yet, Congress has shown little concern by its largely deafening silence—even, as the country still grapples and processes the ominous meaning behind the images of raw rage and burning and looting which occurred in the streets of Baltimore, in light of the Freddie Gray killing, and its connection to police violence and American racism.

Congress' lack of real concern for the lives of Black people who are being daily abused and routinely killed by those who’ve taken an oath to “protect and serve” should be duly noted as we move closer to the 2016 Presidential Elections. In the past week, politicians—especially Republicans—have been struggling to find the right tone to address the problems of police violence and its impact on the Black community.

Black America needs to pay close attention to the speechifying of these politicians who want our votes but never fight for the real issues that affect us when they are in office. Presently, Republicans have been unable to articulate a message against police abuse; they retain their “law and order” bona fides. As if anyone has a problem with genuine law and order; it's targeting of innocent African Americans under the guise of maintaining "law and order" that's the issue.

How can Republicans honestly speak on police brutality without angering the police and terrifying that large segment of the White community that has been conditioned to believe Black people are generally criminal menaces to American society?

After all, many Democrats and so-called “progressive” Whites have been missing in action when it comes to denouncing racism. Many White Democrats claim to be disappointed in the presidency of President Obama. But how many of these “progressives” did we hear denouncing those racists and racial provocateurs who were relentlessly attacking President Obama—and signaling that they would love to assassinate him?

Democrats and White “progressives” are also lacking in denouncing police violence and institutional racism. Look at what has been going on in Missouri under Gov. Jay Nixon and U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill’s watch.

The DOJ report confirmed that Missouri's Black citizens, from Ferguson, are used to balance municipal budgets through systematic racial profiling in order to generate revenue by writing false tickets and fines for crimes never committed.

Wasn'’t Governor Nixon, or, Senator McCaskill aware of these goings on? Did they not hear of this outrage from any of their Black constituents?

Last week, U.S. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, as a polished professional politician, no doubt sensed sound-bite statements would not satisfy the scrutiny that is now following questions regarding police profiling and America’s “justice” system. Consequently, speaking at Columbia, she enunciated much more on these problems and some of the causes than the current crop of Republican presidential pretenders, who are still groping to find the right messaging to speak on these problems.

"“There is something profoundly wrong when African-American men are still far more likely to be stopped and searched by police, charged with crimes, and sentenced to longer prison terms than are meted out to their white counterparts,"” Clinton said. "There is something wrong when a third of all Black men face the prospect of prison during their lifetimes. And an estimated 1.5 million Black men are missing from their families and communities because of incarceration and premature death.”"

Clinton also stated that "The inequities that persist in our justice system undermine this shared vision of what America can be and should be.”" She stated that as a lawyer— working for the Children’'s Defense Fund and the University Of Arkansas School Of Legal aid—“ "I saw repeatedly how our legal system can be and all too often is stacked against those who have the least power, who are the most vulnerable.”"

These statements sound good. But these politicians must be required to outline concrete plans and proposals to Black America on how they will tackle police brutality and the institutional racism that has a stranglehold on our neighborhoods, if we are to support their campaigns. And, in a future column, we will explore the role that her husband former president Bill Clinton played in increasing the nation's African-American prison population.

However, Mrs. Clinton’s statements, to date, have been far more substantial than the feeble utterances of the Republican presidential candidates.

For example, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, presumptive presidential candidate, is injecting the Republican “family values” language—Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is doing this as well—in an attempt to evade speaking about American racism and its connection to the economic war that arrests the development of Black America.

If our government leaders want to attack poverty, they should first acknowledge that an effective anti-poverty program is a strong family, led by two parents,” Bush said. “The evidence on this is incontrovertible.”

While there is some truth here, what does unmarried people have to do with the racist brutal treatment being meted out on Black people by police? And, is being married supposed to cure all the economic ills of African-Americans? In fact, aren’t many marriages today being doomed by financial strains, in a society where wealth disparity is ballooning?

Poor Black people aren’t the only ones being racially profiled by police. Recently, Chris Rock complained about being pulled over three times in a couple of weeks.

Worst of all, though, is the manner in which people like Mr. Bush fail to realize—or, pretend not too—realize how the political policies Republicans push impoverishes the very people they wants to give lectures to. For some time, Republican have been fighting against a minimum wage increase—while they champion the continuation of subsidies to oil companies and rage against any tax increase on corporations. Will Governor Bush support legislation calling for a livable wage and fight to create jobs for Black America?

Since Mr. Bush seems more comfortable injecting typical hypocritical Republican “family values” rhetoric, then, why doesn’t he talk about is the fact that the Black American family has always been under attack in America?

During Slavery, plantation owners often separated children from parents —without any care about what this would do to families. Today, this is done by the mass incarceration industrial complex—with legislative measures expressly created to criminalize African-Americans to create jobs for the prison systems that are predominantly managed by Whites and are also being increasingly privatized for profits. The Republican Party with its deceitful “law and order” talk is leading the charge to lock up African-Americans in the failed so-called “war on drugs.”

Many Democrats signed on as well to these initiatives.

In classic Republican spin, Mr. Bush claims liberal polices like the War on Poverty programs have created the situations that cause the uprising in Baltimore. This statement is laughably absurd. Baltimore is a microcosm of the institutional racism that was designed to destroy the Black family —and Republicans are just as responsible as the rest of White America in creating this reality.

White America has never been able to honestly address the racist history of this country. The discomfort can be seen in how these politicians, especially Republicans, avoid the issue of police brutality and institutional racism. They can never seem to take responsibility for what racism has done— and continues to do —to Black America.

Therefore, we get them saying in not so subtle ways that something in Black culture is the primary cause of most of the problems. On the rare occasions when Republicans admit racism is an issue, it's treated as a smaller ancillary problem, instead of the root cause. Perhaps to them as Republican operatives once said, racism ended when Rosa Park refused to sit in the back of the bus.

Congress can continue to deny that institutional racism, and the economic inequalities connected to it are the central reasons behind the frequent police abuse and murder of Black people, and, why the boiling frustrations exploded in Baltimore.

These denials will, inevitably, only lead to more trouble down the road.

 

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