The whole debate on crime and race is rigged and the class benefiting from the status quo, maintains it via law enforcement. It is also indicative of lack of empathy from America’s majority class. Here is an excerpt from my book, To Pimp a Nation:
On December 14th 2014 in a Fox News interview, Rudy Giuliani, the ex-mayor of New York, obstructively generalized to avoid focusing on the disproportionate amount of police brutality towards blacks, by asking “why do we make such a big deal about police killings when 96% of black killings are by other blacks and only two percent are by police.” He used an analogy, asking the question, if there is one road that has 96% of the accidents each year and another that has two percent, why place so much emphasis on the one with fewer accidents? Brian Kilmeade, the show’s host, took his point well but I would argue that police killings and civilian killings are different just as light rail and normal highways are. That road with fewer accidents in Giuliani’s example could be considered light rail and the other road a traditional highway. The few accidents the light railway experiences discourage drivers from using it thus, they continue using the dangerous, accident-prone road and continue having accidents, maintaining the status quo. In the same manner, police represent an alternative to the criminal ways many black people in the ‘hood often deal with their problems. Where non-blacks look to the police to mediate or resolve matters, many African Americans, legitimately fearing police, seek their own means, often leading to criminal behavior. When I was twenty years old, my house was burglarized and I knew who did it. I immediately grabbed my gun and looked for him. Had I found him, I would have likely done something that would have landed me in jail. Calling the police didn’t even cross my mind because my past experiences made me reluctant to deal with them. Giuliani generalized all black killings to obstruct the audience’s focus on the problem at hand. He was essentially saying, “blacks kill each other more, so it’s okay for the police to do it too.”
Withholding Means of “Civility” from Blacks
White males built America for themselves and had the concept of race been more established when our forefathers wrote the Constitution, they surely would have included the words “white men” instead of “men.” Extending privileges solely intended for them, to women, blacks and other people of color is contrary to America’s original purpose and is the primary source of all of America’s growing pains. Police are a tool of “civil society,” white males’ claim to fame. “Civil” doesn’t necessarily mean non-violent, rather it means society has organized methods of dealing with potentially violent situations and departments designated to carry out the violence. For instance, if someone punches you and you call the police, they can arrest them. The justice system can take away their freedom, restrict their future movement and garnish the fruits of their labor. This civil violence deters one from committing assault. These far less barbarous method of dealing with civil conflict is a far cry from the methods brought from Europe and thus, a luxury to be withheld as much as possible from America’s black underclass. Withholding law enforcement from blacks comes in the form of police in the ‘hood being more trouble than they are worth. We only tend to call them when we don’t have the means to handle a situation. When police do show up, they are there to make arrests, not to solve problems. It seems that along with their services come their personal agendas of making themselves feel valid, purposeful, powerful and morally superior. Many use their duty as a means of making themselves feel tougher than tried and true, tough ghetto men; who could do a way better job of keeping order in their neighborhood if it weren’t illegal to do so. Police often use state power to personally insult and condescend to people who wouldn’t put up with it if officers didn’t have state-sanctioned permission to kill them. When called, if the complainant or anyone around has any outstanding legal issues, like warrants, they could be and are often arrested for it, despite the fact they called for service to begin with. These practices deliver a clear message to black people; police are not for you.
I Called the Police and they Tried to Arrest Me
When I bodyguarded escorts, a customer came out with a knife complaining that my girl wouldn’t have sex with him. I had the money because she handed it out to me earlier and it is a cardinal rule in the escort agency business to never by any means promise sex to anyone. He threatened me with the knife and I refused to give the money back to him. Suddenly he tried to stab me and we began to fight. I dodged the knife blade several times as we tussled and after a while I realized he wasn’t going to give up so I gave him the money back and he went back into his house. I called the police and when they showed up they never even bothered to question the guy. Then one of the officers asked me, in a friendly casual tone, “are you packing?” This would be a crime in California and if I had a gun and told him, I would be the one going to jail. As one officer took the report, the others small talked about how there was a better call they should have went to instead. So the result of my attempt to use civil society’s apparatus for dealing with being robbed at knifepoint was police opting to investigate me for weapons. I felt dumb for even calling them and I never returned the investigator’s call when he finally got around to calling me.
America’s Institutions are Hostile Towards Black People
Experiences like these embed in black people’s subconscious that we should try to avoid police even if we need them. In situations where white people can call police, we handle them ourselves, which often leads to crime. If someone steals from you, you confront them and if they won’t give your stuff back, you take it back. If a woman gets sexually harassed, they don’t call the police, they call their family or the local tough guys, who will surely be met by the offender’s family and/or their local tough guys. The result will be a big fight, neighbors calling the police and many violent crime arrests added to the national crime statistics. Where white people can petition a court to settle a financial dispute, we do it face to face and since money is scarce, unavailable to be returned and we have no system of garnishment, punishment for not paying a debt can involve an ass whooping, which is technically criminal; explaining to police that you beat someone up because they owed you money will definitely result in assault charges. If the person who owes you money can’t be beat, the ass whooping will likely involve multiple people or weapons, which are more serious criminal offenses. If the person seeking their money or property takes it back, police can interpret this as a robbery, another serious crime. American society and its institutions are hostile towards us, but dealing with matters we need these institutions for also brings their hostility; we’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t.
Police Intentionally Destabilize the Ghetto
With these circumstances in mind, one should realize that law enforcement’s arrest patterns destabilize ghetto social systems; no concrete set of checks and balances can solidify; it’s classic divide and conquer. Police take providers out of the home for the means they use to provide. They arrest protectors for the means they use to protect. In a country in which the main tenets are capitalism and security, black people using the means available to them to practice these tenets are punished for doing so. This leaves a constantly shifting security and financial vacuum that causes a lot of criminal desperation.
With this in mind, a lot of crime takes place in the ‘hood and since police mainly look for crime in the ‘hood, the statistics for black people are significantly higher. This does not take into account that we are at the bottom of the Western economic totem pole and likely to have higher numbers anyway; Western Society has always had a financially deprived lower class with higher crime even when it was all white people. However, in America, with the notion of race being a significant part of its development, black people were designated and are continuously driven into Western Society’s most desperate and crime-prone roles.
Scholars Never Successfully Get This View into the Public Narrative
Because of the systemic racism inherent in America, I never see any scholars express this perspective in media discussions about race and crime. My perspective comes from my first-hand experience, introspection and reflection, not abstracted think-tank research, which although has its value, can steer the authoritative and influential voices down common and marginally effective paths. I often find profound ideas expressed in books by scholars but many don’t make the common narrative and those I debate don’t seem to be aware of these views either; the scholars are not very effective in broadening the conversation. So I leave this blog here to expand the idea spectrum and perhaps grow America’s common understanding of the relationship between race and crime.