A Theory Based On Observable Facts
I usually try to avoid directly commenting on issues like this, although lately it seems that this particular issue is difficult, if not absolutely impossible to avoid. There have been many conversations on all sides of the political and ideological aisle about the ACTUAL definition of “Systemic Racism.” The chatter seems to focus on the idea or actually tangibility of ‘Systemic Racism.’
The statement that usually follows from one subcultural group, or more precisely, one part of that subcultural group is: “Systemic Racism is a myth! All White People and ALL POLICE OFFICERS, are not “inherently racist”, … “this country (U.S.A.) has made many strides relative to racial equality since we freed the slaves!” …
… Actually, Abraham Lincoln did that; temporarily with the Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863. Then with the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the U.S. on January 31, 1865 … ‘but ok … ‘we’ did it!
… This ‘subcultural version of ‘we’ ’ seems to totally neglect, obfuscate, misremember, intentionally forget, or overtly remove from this recitation of history, the fact that … between 1865 and 1965 … ala the Voting Rights Act of August 6, 1965 … ONE HUNDRED (100) YEARS LATER!!! … black people faced Jim Crow Laws and did not have the right to eat at lunch counters nor the right to vote … to name only TWO of THOUSANDS that I could name!
… “therefore, there is no such thing as ‘Systemic Racism!’ … sometimes we have a few ‘bad apples’ as Police Officers who we have to root out of the Police Departments where they exist!” …
… Who just happen to shoot black people in the back, as they are running away, or choke them to death, or …
… “but overall, ‘Systemic Racism’ is: a myth, a creation of the ‘left winged – liberal media’, an insecurity among the people who identify with the Black & African American subculture, black people just living in the past, or a result of black people just being a WHOLLY UNFORGIVING & UNGRATEFUL LOT, who … ‘attempts to hold all white people responsible for the ‘Original United States (U.S.) Sin of Slavery.’ Y’all need to just ‘get over it’, stop tearing down OUR statues & history, and join the rest of the U.S. in the 21st Century!” …
… They also seem to think that black people … me and Senator Tim Scott to name two … did not notice that we were being pulled over by police, treated horribly, COULD NOT PERCEIVE, SPIRITUALLY DISCERN, NOR FEEL the Racism, as it emanated from the White Police Officer.
… Not to mention all of the recent incidents where black people … who ended up dead as a result of an encounter with a Police Officer … for years had to sing the song “Southern Trees Bare Strange Fruit” because of the PICNICS that some white people … ‘after Lincoln Freed the Slaves!’ … used to throw after church, when they went to watch a Black Man hanged from a tree, for looking at a White Woman in the eye! …
… No, the only ‘myth’ here is that we are not likely to forget THOSE THINGS …
… ESPECIALLY when we still PERCEIVE & DISCERN Racism … more times than not when we are pulled over by Police Officers … often for no legal or legitimate reason … other than for the crime of still being Black in the U.S. …
Defining History, Racism, and Systemic Racism
Understanding all of that, we need to define what some people mean by the word “Systemic Racism”, and how they are currently using it, as it relates to 21st Century Policing, particularly in reference to Black Men. However, before I define ‘Systemic Racism’ I will define two other words that are often used in conjunction with this topic. The first is ‘History.’
Again, it is often said that the people of all Racial Subcultures, primarily young people, who are actively tearing down statues, are told to ‘stop trying to erase history! AND Stop trying to hold people living in this present day … responsible for the sins of the past, in the United States. You are trying to ‘erase OUR history.’ ’
Now I have written and spoken in the past about the idea that the same Human Conscience, which I personally maintain is ACTUALLY The Holy Spirit Convicting us of wrong things that we either did or were about to do; that same Conscience exists in us today. It Exists in us, EXACTLY as it did in 1619 when those Colonist, the ancestors of U.S. Citizens today, got on ships, crossed the Atlantic Ocean, and enslaved people from another continent, i.e. Africa. If it was wrong back then … then it is just as wrong now … Four Centuries Later in U.S. History.
Thus, we can hold present day people responsible for the: sociological, psychological, Spiritual, economic, and generational damage that the Institution of Slavery and later Jim Crow Laws … basically Racism as it exists today … has inflicted on present day members of the African American subculture in the U.S.
Moreover, and specifically, though not exclusively, many of these wrongs occur within the area of Policing. Holding people responsible for it today is as correct as holding our American ancestors responsible for it. And we have a right to continue to hold ALL Present Day Americans who do not work for Justice For All, responsible for this aforementioned subcultural disenfranchisement, until the issues no longer exist within the African American Subcultural Community.
People today, just as people of past generations, must learn to act according to their Conscience or according to The Voice of the Holy Spirit Living inside of them. They must CHOOSE to DO RIGHT by those who they know are suffering INJUSTICE, even if it makes them ‘Feel’ uncomfortable. As opposed to trying to absolve themselves and their Conscience by INCORRECTLY claiming that ‘the sins of the father cannot be visited upon or inherited by the son (Exodus 34:7).’
Thus, History is easily defined as past accomplishments and failures that are somehow preserved for those in the present, such that they are able to learn about and from that History. But what some people are really saying is ‘let the past be the past.’ And that is not possible, if past mistakes still occur and negatively impact Black People living in the present.
Now to define Racism. That one is actually easy too! Most people have subcultural biases. Most people more easily relate to people who look like them, grew up in neighborhoods that were similar to theirs, speak with similar words and phrases (colloquial language) to theirs, and who have similar traditions. It is natural. That does not mean that one subculture does not like the other, on mass. It just means that we have preferences and find comfort in familiarity.
Racism is easily defined as the negative and often detrimental use of some subcultural predilection or bias. However, in order for Racism to be CORRECTLY DEFINED as Racism, it must include a base of subcultural economic power and authority.
In short, this is why black people can be “Bigots”, but they cannot be “Racists” in the United States (U.S.).
Simply stated, Black People only constitute thirteen percent (13%) of the U.S. population and do not have, as a subculture, enough money to be considered the Dominant Subcultural Power and Influencer in the U.S. Conversely, White People are sixty percent (60%) of the U.S. population, those who do not have any Hispanic Heritage. And in total White People make up seventy eight percent (78%) of the population, if we include those of European Hispanic Decent in that subculture (www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/US/PST045219).
Thus, in the U.S. only ‘White Only’ people can be CORRECTLY defined as ‘Racist’, when they are in fact ‘Racists’, as defined above.
OF COURSE … NOT ALL White People are Racist.
That is a numerical impossibility! It is simply NOT POSSIBLE for all members of any specific U.S. Subcultural group to ‘be’ of one mindset or predilection. White People may share similar traditions and things that they are fond of, like Seinfeld & Bruce Springsteen; but they don’t all like “The Boss!”
And you should not speak so ill of my Family Members & Friends who are White! I am only stating that the Correct Definition of Racism can only be applied to some White People, in the United States, so long as they fit within the parameters of the preceding definition.
Systemic Racism is Inherent in the Culture of Policing
Defining ‘Systemic Racism’ is where this gets tricky! Particularly as it relates to its OBVIOUS (in some people’s opinion) EXISTENCE in Police Departments in the United States. Thus, Police Departments are or can be correctly deemed as being ‘Systemically Racist’, in the opinion of some people.
The ‘tricky’ or Theoretical Part of the previous statement is based on the fact that you cannot, and never will be able to, prove that ‘Racism’ actually exists. That is why this MUST ONLY be considered a Theory, and not a Tested and Proven Fact.
So, what do people mean when they say that ‘Systemic Racism exists within the Culture of Police Departments?’
First, we must define what I believe that many people mean when they say, ‘Systemic Racism.’ That term is not as easily defined as the previous two terms, History and Racism. Systemic Racism means that Racism, as previously defined, exists as an Inherent & Integral part of the System where it functions, in this instance, Police Departments.
In other words, your body has a brain and a heart …
And as I always say, “do not try to think with your heart … because your heart does not have a brain …
(Earlism #18 I Think I Feel … – www.jonestheadvisor.com/earlism-18-i-think-i-feel/).”
… and your body is a System. Your body could not function without the heart and the brain. Those two items are Integral to the existence of the System.
Thus, when people say that Police Departments in the U.S. are ‘Systemically Racist’, they mean that a Racist mindset is an Inherent & Integral part of the entire Body or Culture of the Police Organism or Organization, as it exists in the U.S. today. Thus, Racism is a Systemically Inherent & Integral part of the current state of Policing in the U.S. That is what they mean by ‘Systemic Racism.’
Thus, U.S. Police Departments would and could not exist and operate, as they currently do, without Racism.
Again, IT CANNOT BE TANGIBLY PROVEN that Racism actually exists … However everyone knows that Racism does exist … because, “you can Discern, Perceive, or ‘Feel’ Racism … before you see Racism …
(Earlism #42 Perceiving Racism – www.jonestheadvisor.com/earlism-42-perceiving-racism/).”
So, when some say that ‘Systemic Racism exists within the Culture of Police Departments’, this assertion is not just based on the experiences of: Breonna Taylor, or Ahmaud Arbery, or Antwon Rose Jr, or Senator Tim Scott, or Earl A Jones, via my own personal encounters with the Police, or … countless other Black People.
When they say that ‘Systemic Racism exists within the Culture of Police Departments’, they mean that Racism is an essential and continuously operating element, which is Inherent and Integral to the ‘Police – Body or System.’ In other words, Police Organizations in the U.S. operate, while using a Racist … heart and mindset.
How Did Racism Get Into The Police Culture?
Now this is also an UNPROVEN PORTION of A THEORY, thus also ‘tricky’, even if concurrently true; IT IS POSSIBLE, BASED ON THE CENTURIES OF ANECDOTAL EVIDENCE, that ‘Systemic Racism’ is Inherent in Police Training, therefore it becomes a part of Police Culture.
Specifically, there is A POSSIBILITY THAT there exists an Inherently Inculcated, Engrained, and Trained enmity that exists and causes SOME to MANY Police Officers to distrust Black people, particularly Black Males, from the moment they begin their work.
THIS CANNOT BE TANGIBLY PROVEN.
However, considering the historic and current outcomes that have existed in the U.S. relative to the negative interactions that have transpired between Black People and the Police since 1619, THERE EXISTS A POSSIBILITY THAT this assertion … made by some people … COULD BE CORRECT, relative to this Theoretical assertion.
NO! I PERSONALLY, ABSOLUTELY DO NOT BELIEVE that ALL members of the Police Force are Inherently Racist and/or Bigoted. PERIOD! AND FULL STOP! THE END! Particularly not at the moment when they first sign up to become Police officers.
Of Course, some show up with Racist and/or Bigoted attitudes and predilections. However, those people show up and sign up for every type of job.
Now, it is the Economic and Legal Power that RIGHTFULLY BACKS Policing in America that turns THE NEGATIVE ACTIONS into Systemic Racism.
IT CAN BE POSTULATED, BY SOME PEOPLE, or CONTEMPLATED, BY SOME PEOPLE, WITHOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF OBTAINING ANY TANGIBLE PROOF, that when Police Officers are Trained and more importantly when they are themselves, assimilating into the ‘Blue’ Police Culture, within their specific Police Department, and in a larger sense, within the entire Organization of all Police, in the U.S., including those who perform Police activities at the Federal, State, and Local levels of Policing; IT CAN BE CONTEMPLATED THAT THIS is POSSIBLY WHEN SOME Police Officers are POSSIBLY Taught to distrust Black Men, while they are executing the functions and duties associated with their position.
NOT ALL OF THEM ASSIMILATE IN THIS WAY! PLEASE DO NOT MISTAKE OR MISCONSTRUE MY WORDS.
However, IT CAN BE POSTULATED, BY SOME PEOPLE, or CONTEMPLATED, BY SOME PEOPLE, WITHOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF OBTAINING ANY TANGIBLE PROOF, that this Systemic Racism or Trained Distrust of Black People and particularly Black Males, SIMPLY DOES NOT BECOME INTERNALIZED BY SOME to MANY POLICE OFFICERS in the U.S. today. Conversely, that WOULD IMPLY that some to many do internalize this Systemically Racist Training and Ideology.
In other words, when they are ‘out in these Streets’, Black People, particularly Black Males, are ALWAYS GUILTY and UP TO SOMETHING Nefarious!
It Is In ‘Their’ Nature …
‘… longer heel bone in black people …’ – see the Jackie Robinson Movie – 42
Thus, a Rookie Officer, IT CAN BE POSTULATED, BY SOME PEOPLE, or CONTEMPLATED, BY SOME PEOPLE, WITHOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF OBTAINING ANY TANGIBLE PROOF, MIGHT BE taught this ideology, from the beginning of their Training.
IF THAT IS TRUE, AND NO ONE CAN EVER PROVE THAT THIS THEORY IS TRUE … BUT IF IT IS TRUE … THEN IT IS POSSIBLE THAT Rookie Officers MIGHT internalize this concept, as well as function from the basis of that foundational premise. Even if internally THAT UNPROVABLE PREMISE is in conflict with their Conscience or with the Voice of The Holy Spirit.
AND IF ALL OF THE PRECEDING IS POSSIBLY TRUE, then they must operate using this Trained ideology. That is if they want to ‘fit in’ and keep their jobs. Thus, IT CAN BE POSTULATED, BY SOME PEOPLE, or CONTEMPLATED, BY SOME PEOPLE, WITHOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF OBTAINING ANY TANGIBLE PROOF, that there COULD POSSIBLY BE, THOUGH IT CANNOT BE PROVED, a ‘Learned Enmity’ that exists between Black People and the Police.
THIS IS ONE UNPROVEN and UNPROVABLE THEORY ABOUT HOW Systemic Racism becomes a part of Policing. The fact is that many people in that Black subcultural group BELIEVE with all of their hearts, to the extent that they KNOW IT TO BE TRUE BEYOND ANY REASONABLE DOUBT, that Police Organizations do not like them, mistreat them, shoot them without cause, choke them, and have a general distrust for them. And SOME PEOPLE Believe that this has always been a part of The Black Experience in the U.S. relative to Police Organizations, according to many members of the Black subcultural group.
And as they say … true or untrue … “Perception is Reality.”
And the main issue these days is that SOME YOUNG PEOPLE, emanating from all subcultural groups seem to be, unfortunately, striking back against the Police, with equal force and perceived ferocity, based on the enmity that SOME YOUNG PEOPLE BELIEVE EXISTS.
The Results of the ‘war’ are heartbreaking and devastating for both Innocent Police Officers who deserve a FAIR TRIAL (that is COMPLETELY another topic). AND SO MANY BLACK VICTIMS who also deserved a FAIR TRIAL.
SO, when some say that ‘Systemic Racism is Inherent in the Culture of Policing’ …
… That is what SOME PEOPLE Believe they mean …
… Systemic Racism is Inherent in the Culture of Policing …