White Civilian Culpability in Black Assaults and Deaths (#BlackLivesMatter)
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Funny...in the growing outcries against law enforcement, white people are the first to chant #NotAllCops and all that jazz, yet when these "good cops" finally decide to speak out, one of the first things they have to say is STFU to white civilians.
Addicting Info has this awesome article quoting cops speaking up in a forum about the bullshit calls they get from white people calling on random black people who are, you know, simply existing.
I got a call once about someone illegally fishing in a community pond. The complainant advised that they had lived there for years, and knew that the person fishing didn’t live in the community.When I was in social work I learned that CPS gets similar calls, in which white people will call on their neighbors for letting their kids have black friends, etc.
Once I arrive, I see a middle aged black man fishing in the pond. He looks over when I pull up and immediately approaches me. He said, “Let me guess, my racist neighbors called again saying that I didn’t live here.”
“Yes, sir. That is what the caller said.”
“Here’s my license. I’ve lived here for 10 years, and they call on me every once and a while.”
“I’m sorry to have bothered your fishing. Have a good day, and good luck with your horrible neighbors.”
My personal favorite:
TeenageExplorer standing @ traffic post
Mother with child: Excuse me?
Me: Yes ma’am?
Mother with child: Did you see that guy walk down my street?
Recalls man walking down the street, he waved at me and I waved back
Me: Yea, do you know him?
Mother with child: I mean I’ve seen him a few times before, he just is out of place here. Can you like do something about that? Him being here?
Recalls man was black
Me: Ma’am, I can’t personally do anything, I’m just here to direct traffic and I have to remain here until told otherwise. praying she’ll walk away
Mother with Child: Could you call your boss then?
Me: Ma’am, there’s an officer down the street if you’d like to talk with him. But there’s nothing saying he can’t walk down the street so I don’t know if he will be able to do anything either.
Mother with child: Fine. walks away annoyed
We frequently get calls about black men and woman and kids, yes fucking kids, walking. Like WWB was actually a crime and not a Twitter joke.
It's very important we bring up this factor because body cameras on cops and cloud apps for smartphones don't address one of the major underlying problems: the first people to often escalate cop-POC civilian situations are not the cops themselves, but the white people who call them. Hell, after being mistaken for a black man, Sureshbhai Patel wound up paralyzed.
Why wasn't the caller tracked down and held accountable? Because I believe that needs to be part of law enforcement reform.
It also needs to be part of the discussion about white supremacy in America. It's not just cops that chant the "fear for my life" routine, white civilians have been doing it forever, and we were almost starting to forget about the Michael David Dunns and John Henry Spooners (not Zimmerman - he gets arrested too much) because recenty focus has almost squarely turned to cops.
That mother with her child was offended by the mere sight of a black man - in passing - and Her Highness immediately wanted him removed. I want folks to meditate on that, considering how often white Americans swear up and down to themselves that they're not part of the problem, they're doing absolutely nothing to contribute to the racial problems in this country, and don't see why they should have to be held responsible for anything.
Here's the original thread itself. One commenter, the WM half of a BWWM couple, added this in response to TeenageExplorer's comment:
My wife got the police called on her 3 times the first week we moved into our new Apartment. 1st time she was sitting in her car reading while the landlord brought the keys from his office. 2nd time was for "breaking into the house" she used the front door with a key. 3rd time she was walking to the mail boxes down the street to get mail.Anybody else suddenly remembering Danièle Watts?
I'm white and she's black. She got cops called a total of 9 times in the year we lived there I got zero.