Fifteen police officers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania were captured on video beating the shit out of three black men pulled out of a car after a traffic stop on Monday night. The fifteen police officers have been removed from street duty. The beating looked similar to some kind of gang activity where the victim is overwhelmed by multiple gang members waylaying in on his or her ass. The three black men have been charged with criminal conspiracy, aggravated assault, simple assault and reckless endangerment, according to court officials. But that really doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if the police officers are right or wrong. People throughout the community will come from far and wide to defend the actions of a little street justice from this badge wearing posse.
On Wednesday, Doug Oliver, a spokesman for Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter made the statement, “At a glance it does appear to be a bit beyond the pale…Officers are not allowed to operate outside of the law…We are not going to prejudge the situation based on the video…We all saw the video, but none of us was there.”
No doubt there will be some claim of some kind of investigation. These police will simply say that they were in fear of their life and were trying to defend themselves. The police will claim that these suspects were trying to break the officer’s feet when the officers were kicking the suspects in the head as they were lying face down on the ground. The police will claim that they had to beat the suspects because the suspects didn’t respond to police commands fast enough. They will say that they were suffering from some derivative of contagious shooting called contagious beating the shit out of somebody or contagious smack down. They will go before a judge and the esteemed Honor will say something totally unbelievable but perfectly legal like there isn’t enough evidence here to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the suspects’ civil rights were violated while cops were kicking their ass. The dominant community will support their police far beyond any shadow of a reasonable doubt whether they were right or wrong.
In the individual dealings with the black community the support the dominant community gives its representatives is overwhelming. Had this beating not been caught by the WTXF-TV helicopter that just so happened to be in the vicinity, the suspects would have showed up at the police station bloodied and battered and in need of immediate medical attention, the police would have simply said that the suspects fell as they were getting out of the squad car. The infamous police code of silence and blind support for fellow officers would not require any investigation to the contrary.
But now that there is a video made public, reluctantly, an investigation must ensue. Witnesses will be collected and if their testimony will be damaging to the police officers it will be dismissed because the police will be assumed to have more integrity than the black suspects. Few people from the dominant community will contest such an assumption. Most people will support that assumption even though they would never tolerate it being applied to themselves. If these people don’t stand behind each other, the dominant community would have a great deal to lose.
The dominant community will support their own. A radio host, fired for demeaning and humiliating black women, will be supported to the point that, not only does he get his job back, he will get a ten million dollar settlement for his troubles. Boot camp guards caught on camera murdering a black teenager too exhausted to continue his calisthenics are acquitted of murder. Police who kill a black man on his way to his wedding are acquitted of any wrong doing. Senators running for reelection will point to a black man in the audience and tell the crowd to say hello to macaca, a racially derogatory term, and people still voted for him. A local district attorney charge black high school students of second degree attempted murder for fighting with white high school students who aren’t charged with anything. When the district attorney is investigated by federal agents, there isn’t enough evidence to warrant charges. A comedian stands on stage and uses numerous racial epithets against black people in the audience and video sales of the television show he appeared in skyrocket over the following week. And the number of racist who consistently make blatant derogatory remarks against the black community reads like a who’s who in network news.
If only the black community could garner such support from our own. When the radio host made his remarks about black women, half the black community was pointing the finger at the other half of the black community. Somehow, we had brought this upon ourselves by allowing gangsta rap music thrive in the black community. The fact that gangsta rap is a product of a music industry ultimately controlled by the dominant community and the fact that the white community is responsible for seventy percent of gangsta rap purchases never registers to half of the black community. If black people would not tolerate our women being degraded through gangsta rap music maybe white radio hosts wouldn’t think it was acceptable to degrade black women.
Black comedians stand in front of white people and deride poor blacks for the condition of the black community. Black celebrities advocate the abandonment of the black community in order to truly feel free. Black celebrities will do their best to market themselves as a single person rainbow coalition with every ethnicity in the spectrum in their family lineage with their African ancestry pulling up the rear. Famous black men advertise the fact that they don’t date black women. Famous black women return the favor and eschew dating black men. Black entrepreneurs want to hire white people as their sales force and keep their black employees in supporting roles.
When a black preacher has the audacity to say that the dominant community has played a significant role in keeping the black community in a condition of perpetual substandard existence, the black community will question his motives and accuse him of trying to sabotage another black man’s bid for the white house. We want to hush the man with the courage to be vocal in his call for the recognition of our condition. White people won’t want to hear that shit. If that fool doesn’t keep quiet the black community will lose any hope of putting one of our own in the white house.
And? A single black man in the white house isn’t going to change the conditions of the black community if we have to get him there under some subterfuge that everything is hunky dory. Equality and fairness isn’t going to trickle down through the public simply because we have a black president. Illinois had its first black Senator in forever and has conditions in Illinois change for its black population? It may be true that there have been some improvements but the racial status quo remains squarely intact.
The black community has produced our share of judges, police, doctors, legislators, lawyers, philosophers, historians, explorers, engineers, actors, singers, athletes, scientist, teachers, entrepreneurs, dreamers, bureaucrats, inventors, poets, entertainers, authors, administrators, astronomers, astrologers, astronauts, mathematicians, metallurgist, farmers, marketers, and any and every profession you can think of. What will be one more? What will change for the black community if one of our own was to become president? If the only black man that sits on the Supreme Court is any indication, it won’t mean a thing if that black person does not have a full appreciation of what it means to support the black community.
Like many people, I believe it will be a significant achievement when a black person becomes President of the United States. But I’m not ready to sacrifice black people who speak the truth about racial disparity in order to achieve that goal. I support the black man or woman who wants to be president. I support them with all of my heart. But more importantly, I will support the black community. And that includes the black person who has the courage to stand up and says that there is something wrong with this country that tolerates so much racial inequality.