By Shawntaz Crawford
Pay attention, folks. The latest issues of police brutality and racial tension are not simply a black and white issue. Instead, these problems are the evidence of a rich versus poor issue.
Don’t be fooled: Black people vs. White people is a convenient distraction. Today’s police are simply an “armed force” component of a much larger, more capitalized political machine. In America, it’s #poorlives that do not matter.
This current trend of mass hatred of police is so misguided. We should rather be critiquing the justice system for which the police work. Everyone is out marching in the street, daring armed police officers to act. Yet, we don’t see these same organizations attacking the judges, the lobbyists, the lawyers, the unions, and the many other systems designed to protect their own interests while covering for their police officers. The result is that poor people get picked on. Not necessarily because of their color, but because of the lack of resources to fight back.Publisher: Mass hatred for police is misguided. Why not go for judges, lobbyists, prosecutors, unions who protect the system's interest? Click To Tweet
When a poor ghetto kid shows up in court, he shows up with a public defender or, at best, a decent defense lawyer or firm who will take the case pro bono. Conversely, the arresting officer or officers show up with the entire legal system behind them. Who do you think have the adequate resources to win?
Members who live and organize in our communities engage in all this marching and protesting, but not many will show up and be present in the courtroom when it is time to really hold these people accountable. There are no “Black Lives Matter” representatives from the public defender’s office or in judge’s seat to advocate for whom is picked to serve on going to pick the jury. “Black Lives Matter” has no lawyers or lobbyist. No assembly will be allowed in the courtroom.
At the end of the day, money talks. And with enough money, the system can be influenced. When a police officer shoots a black man, understand that it is not him that is defending himself. It is the infrastructure behind him defending him. It is in the system’s best interest to protect its own. Please think about it for a second.Publisher: When an officer shoots a black man, understand that he doesn't have to defend himself. The infrastructure behind him defends him. Click To Tweet
Then, what’s even more problematic is this idea that any critique of the Movement for Black Lives is almost considered blasphemy. I’ve had friends and its supporters get so emotionally reactive that I find it difficult to engage in constructive dialogue with them. But if we don’t stop and really think about the underlying causes of these occurrences, or how to temper our approach to a long-term solution, there will continue to be grieving black mothers and angry black protestors;.
What turns this Movement for Black Lives into a racially charged issue is that the black community just so happens to be the poorest. We got to get more organized, entertain alternative perspectives and get our own cultural weight up—i.e. community financing—so we can afford to defend ourselves from a very real, highly funded justice system because it takes financial resources to fight back. There are no wealthy black people getting shot down. So some black lives obviously do matter. Again, it’s #poorlives in America, that do not matter.
The wealthy suitors who bankroll the justice system need us all to be fighting each other in the streets, so that we’re distracted enough to not successfully come for them.
Just some food for thought.