Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Eric Garner: Breathing Racism

Listen to me standing up on this so-called mountain! Let me tell it as it truly was! His name was Tod Clifton and he was full of illusions. He thought he was a man when he was only Tod Clifton. He was shot for a simple mistake of judgment and he bled and his blood dried and shortly the crowd trampled out the stains. It was a normal mistake of which many are guilty: He thought he was a man and that men were not meant to be pushed around.

Perhaps it’s incongruent to borrow from Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man to address the death of Eric Garner. He weighed more than 300 pounds and stood taller than six feet; reports mawkishly reference him as the gentle giant. 

But black people are not gentle. Certainly not to be treated gently. Especially not by officers of the law. 
White cops are afraid of black men. We don’t talk about it, we pretend it doesn’t exist, we claim “color blindness.” We say white officers treat black men the same way they treat white men. But that’s a lie. In fact, the bigger, the darker the black man the greater the fear. Yet, even though it’s a central, if not the defining ingredient in the makeup of police racism, white cops won’t admit it to themselves, or to others. Breaking Rank pg. 92
Those are the words of a White man, Norm Stamper. He’s the former Seattle Police Chief. It's his view that most Whites are aware of his conclusion. Whites cannot be ignorant about Racism (White Supremacy).

A significant portion of Whites claim that police brutality and Racism persist because most Whites are oblivious to this reality. This is a pernicious falsehood from which non-whites should expeditiously divest. Cliven Bundy and the hoards of lawbreaking, White ruffians who've defiantly obstructed Homeland Security employees' efforts to transport undocumented children understand that they will not be body-slammed, sodomized, tased or choked. Even when breaking federal law, they will not be treated like Eric Garner or Marlene Pinnock.

White people are not ignorant about Racism. It can be said that White Supremacy (Racism) is the rhythm to the White lifeforce. Rhythm Helps Your Time Have Meaning - thanks Dr. Gaunt. White infants begin inhaling White Supremacist codes, concepts, and behavior patterns before they have teeth. They're suckled and motivated from birth to burial to dominate and abuse the Eric Garner's of the universe. Waging war against non-white people - especially individuals classified as black - is at the core of every aspect of White culture.

White people just observed the 50 year anniversary of the NYPD's execution of 15-year-old James Powell in Harlem - nearly a half century to the day of Garner's slaying. The slaughter of this unarmed black child ignited six days of upheaval. The commemorations offered few syllables on Powell or his family, why he was killed, or his surviving relatives' reflections. The preponderance of attention focused on lawless black hooliganism, the destruction of White-owned property, and disregard for White law and order. Whites conducted interviews, drafted reports, and continue writing books on this mostly forgotten anecdote. A good deal of New York's 1964 White residents, White politicians, and White entrepreneurs, whom supported any means necessary to restore White order, are still alive. As are many of the White NYPD officers who clubbed, shot, and shackled black citizens. Fogies or not, they'll remember this incident and what it means to be White til their last breath. Whites were not clueless about Racism in 1964, nor are they now.

Generations of Whites have lauded Invisible Man and Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing – the latter marking it’s quarter century anniversary this summer. These works of fiction climax with the NYPD snuffing out black life. Tellingly, many Whites have given identical responses to the deaths of James Powell, Eric Garner, and Radio Raheem (Bill Nunn). Lee recently responded to White film critics:

They never talk about the death of Radio Raheem at the hands of the police. They talk about Mookie smashing the window and the pizzeria burning down. If in a review, a critic discussed how Sal's Famous was burned down but didn't mention anything about Radio Raheem getting killed, it was pretty obvious that he or she valued white-owned property more than the life of this young black hoodlum.
NYPD validated their pursuit of Garner with similar logic, similar (dis)regard for black life.

The cigarette seller and the police were far from strangers: the local officers had tangled with Mr. Garner time and time again, arresting him for selling untaxed cigarettes at a price far below what local deli owners could offer.

The New York Times cited local merchants who discontinued their sale of tobacco because unlawful street hawkers like Garner smothered their profit margins. Strangling is for black people, not White-controlled enterprise. 

Apparently, chokeholds aren’t the only thing in the manual.

For years, Mr. Garner chafed at the scrutiny by the police, which he considered harassment. In 2007, he filed a handwritten complaint in federal court accusing a police officer of conducting a cavity search of him on the street, “digging his fingers in my rectum in the middle of the street” while people passed by.

Abner Louima was supposed to be a teachable moment, a clarion decree that White officers desist from behaving life homoerotic barbarians with badges. It’s naive to think the lesson was not learned. To the contrary, Whites have advanced degrees in the science of Terrorizing black people.

The university of the world instructs White children, White Women and White Men that black people are not human beings, but rather, creatures worthy of sadistic cruelty. Arizona State University’s Dr. Ersula J. Ore was savagely reminded that her doctorate and masters degrees fail to protect her from White brutes with a remedial understanding of how Whites think of and treat black people. Big Apple residents young and old, White and non-white should recall a bevy names, extinguished non-white lives which illustrate this point. Reaching for a wallet. Celebrating a wedding. Tossing a football. Selling cigarettes.
As long as the System of White Supremacy exists, make room for the next name on that shirt of death. White dedication to  – not ignorance of – Racism demands that the ledger of slaughtered non-white lives expands infinitely.

Electing a White mayor with a black wife and non-white afro-sporting children will have the same impact as a departmental review of the officers responsible for Mr. Garner’s death. 

In 9 Cases of Police Chokeholds, Punishment Was Rare, Review Board Says

2.) Wouldn't want anyone to think this problem is exclusive to the United States.

No comments: