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Op-Ed: Let’s Smile, Lie and Murder

Dr. Owen Brown is a Professor in the Department of Social Behavioral Sciences at Medgar Evers College. 
Donald Trump. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Gage Skidmore.

By Dr. Owen Brown

There is a radical racialist problem in America. This problem is not new, and rightly so because didn’t Donald Trump exploit it and become the 45th? The Dixiecrats utilized it to cement institutionalized racism after the defeat of the Confederacy.  Following in the footsteps of Dixiecrats, generations later, President Richard Nixon utilized the War on Drugs to criminalize the Civil Rights and the Black Power Movements. 

These policies have devastated our communities and transformed black boys into killers of other black boys, men and women. Ask the Woos and the Choos in Brooklyn.

Now local police’s bodycams reveal what President Joe Biden knew when he and the Dixiecrats lined up in the 1980s and 1990s to pass federal laws that led to generations of black men and women being locked up for non-violent drug offenses. Institutional racism is consequential and mostly poor uneducated blacks were\are the victims of the lethal drugs, guns, and police that flooded their impoverished communities. 

The purpose of the latter was to blunt the momentum of the Civil Rights movement’s quest for racial and gender equity.  Ask the Gangsta Disciples.  Not surprisingly, cultural institutions central to the survival of the African American community were eroded. 

This included the family and the black church. In their places, the criminal justice system looms large over the opportunity structure facing African Americans.  President Biden expressed the ongoing troubling reality facing African Americans and the policing of its largely impoverished communities when he said:

Public trust is the foundation of public safety and there are still too many places in America today where the bonds of trust are frayed or broken. Tyre’s death is a painful reminder that we must do more to ensure that our criminal justice system lives up to the promise of fair and impartial justice, equal treatment, and dignity for all.

We also cannot ignore the fact that fatal encounters with law enforcement have disparately impacted Black and Brown people.

Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills, Demetrius Haley, Justin Smith, and Tadarrrius Bean represent all the things of the Antebellum society and why blacks fought on the side of the Confederacy.  But were they all evil?  I don’t think so.  Many are on the frontline and convinced that the evils in our communities are because of bad choices.  Nevertheless, they are the blunt instruments central to enforcing the continued marginalization of African Americans in America’s body politics and its economic mainstream.  Unfortunately, Mr. Tyre is the latest victim of America’s obsession with criminalizing and erasing black bodies.

Owen Brown
Owen Brown. Photo: Provided.

As Americans marched across New York City, San Francisco, and Memphis, again, we are reminded that despite our awareness of racial disparities in the criminal justice system, atrocities against people of color continue, unabated.  Trying to blame them on a few “bad apples” or the need to have police trained better in newly developed DEI procedures is a red herring.  

Even former President Trump was forced to concede that “Look, the tape was perhaps not totally conclusive but, to me, it was pretty conclusive, and it was vicious and violent and hard to believe - over a traffic violation."  Ask Sandra Bland.

These five black police officers were doing their jobs.  Not well.  But the creators of the Scorpion Unit are most likely responding to the need to be tough on crime.  Riding in the Scorpion Unit members’ police cars, they probably saw the worst in our underfunded, high unemployment\low wage, and deprived communities. 

Why shouldn’t they have internalized the ethos of the oppressors and their misguided beliefs that poor marginalized black people’s sub-culture inspires bad choices resulting in their children’s deprived actions and self-inflicted social wounds?

Every day, I see poor, deprived people on New York City subways and buses having to make desperate decisions about whether to feed their children, pay the rent, or fare evasion. Most of these people are women; their children are black or brown and loved. They are poor, and they are trying to arrive at Ronald Reagan’s “Shining City Upon a Hill.”  Many go to church, and they pray for their children.

As remorseful as President Biden is, can he inspire Federal lawmakers from both sides of the aisle to invest half the amount they have given to Ukraine into the African American communities? Perhaps 50 billion, annually for the next 10 years?  What do you think that would do for our urban and rural institutions, infrastructures, and black-on-black crime rate?

Conservative pundits and their news organizations battle against this move because it contradicts and exposes their radical racialists’ propaganda pedaling the lie that the challenges faced by black and brown people are self-inflicted.  Since the late 1960s, they and their acolytes have made trillions of dollars bombarding white Americans and indoctrinating these members of the human family with the erroneous idea that black skin equals crime, affirmative action, and welfare fraud. 

Over time, this narrative must be updated by reporters reading from teleprompters.  What is this updated narrative concealing a radical racialist red herring angst contra Black Lives Matter, Critical Race Theory, and The Bluest Eyes?  These contemporary Conservatives’ manufactured boogeymen are designed to scare white Americans into believing that evil people are blacks.  Ask Governors Ron DeSantis and Sarah Huckabee Sanders. 

They stand behind threats to free speech, rigged elections, and white children’s feelings.  But was not this strategy pulled from the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (1933-1945) illiberal playbook resulting in the senseless murder of our Jewish brothers and sisters? Ask Adolf Hitler. Hitler’s rise to power was inspired by national crises and hatred wrapped in “good intention,” and its Trojan Horse was filled with illiberal ideas that cost millions their lives.

There is a problem in America. Can you smell a con when we are told the price of eggs has gone up astronomically, but the chickens are still affordable?  Ask the Colonel.  But Mr. Nichols’s life should not have been violently truncated because of the continuing significance of institutional racism. But why didn’t Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills, Demetrius Haley, Justin Smith, and Tadarrrius Bean do better?  Ask George Santos.

Dr. Owen Brown is a Professor in the Department of Social Behavioral Sciences at Medgar Evers College. 

The opinions in the article do not reflect the views of the BK Reader.