On the second night of the Republican National Convention, Abby Johnson of Planned Parenthood provided a graphic description of abortion to pull on the heartstrings and taunt the consciousness of a conscious-less audience. She preceded this anecdote by disclosing Planned Parenthood’s racist origins. Johnson’s speech was undoubtedly supposed to be moving, however, it illuminated the reality of policing in America. Policing is a late-term abortion for the babies black women dared to keep in a world that holds blackness in systemic and social contempt. To confront the reality of policing, we must call policing what it is: genocide.
Policing is an act of genocide. Black murder remains in accordance with protecting and serving the white supremacist motives that drive the policing institution. Whether policing produces murder or mutilation, it’s goal to is “control” the black population and to scare the black collective into social and systemic submission.
On Monday, August 24th, the black collective awoke to the silenced cries of Jacob Blake, a black man shot seven times in the back by police officers ion Kenosha Wisconsin. The specifics surrounding Blake’s identity are insignificant because black people need not be animal shelter volunteers, hold a professional degree, or be conventionally perfect to be “worthy” of acknowledgment. Blake joins a plethora of black people slain or assaulted by the police or soldiers of white supremacy.
Jacob Blake’s case proves reminiscent of the four black boys wounded by Bernie Goetz on a New York City subway car in the 1980s. The black men in this instance, like Blake, survived but acquired debilitating injuries. I bring in the Goetz case to underscore that one need not be a police officer to murder or seriously injury a black person without consequence. One need not be a police officer to “police” black people. I suppose the best contemporary example of this would be George Zimmerman who murdered Trayvon Martin as a self-proclaimed neighborhood watchman. Policing is as American as apple pie and “policing” encapsulating a praxis where blacks can be eliminated or mutilated by those who socially inherit whiteness, or those who exist and implement a dedication and praxis of white nationalism.
The most detrimental component to policing as a manifestation of western ideology are the mental effects it yields the black collective. To draw upon the theory of the pan-optican, external policing engenders internal policing where the policed implement irrational logic in an attempt to rationalize irrational behavior. I had two conversations yesterday where the melanated speaker blamed Jacob Blake for the police’s murderous actions. While unsettling, these words reflected those mentally wounded into a state of self-policing that indicts their own in the court of public opinion and cultivates the very logic that equates the decorum the police showed murderer Kyle Rittenhouse as due to his compliance and not his complexion.
Policing actualizes intangible systemic infrastructure. Thus, there is no reform, there is no retraining. Anti-blackness remains at the core of this institution and this praxis. To perceive policing as both an institution and a praxis is essential to acknowledging the full extent of its injury.
To heal this injury, disarming the police is not only essential to advancing as a nation, it is an essential step to disarming white supremacy. Without a supplemental phallus,or a gun, the police will have less confidence in the acquiescence that a person with a gun often demands. Black people labeled criminals receive harsh sentences and often spend their lives, or huge portions of it, in a cage. Or, as we have seen countless times, black people convicted of murder too often endure capital punishment, and the same should be afforded to those who kill in “the line of duty.” A deadly weapon is essential to policing and policing employs duplicity in weaponry. Particularly, the anti-black assassin is not only armed with physical deadly force; the armed assassin proceeds under the full protection of a law that serves their supremacist intentions.
For this reason, the law remains unfit to indict or punish crime because it personifies crime in itself.
Therefore, life in prison is not enough, because police culture would mollify the incarceration experience into what will surely foment the wrath of white supremacy. It is time that consequences follow the casualties that continue to befall the black community.
To interrogate the license to kill as a right extended to the African-adjacent at birth, the black collective must hone our right to bear arms. Bearing arms does not just correspond to a firearm, but it means knowing and understanding the laws that encase us as people in America. A failure to understand the true detriment of the laws, chains the black collective to a past in bondage which precludes any and every stride toward freedom.
Nevertheless, change is unlikely. The African-Adjacent cannot and will not oscillate the legal oppression that continues to befall the black community, as policing remains an integral component to anti-black “personhood.” Without the right to police, the African-adjacent remains visibly espoused to the inferiority they feel toward the black collective. To change the laws or to be disarmed is to incur the burden to be what they said they were; to embody the superiority an anti-black world proclaims as innately non-African. With guns and laws as weaponry, the African-adjacent can continue to employ the mythos that casts them in the phantasmal greatness of their fantasies.
Moreover, the only change the black collective will likely see is a series of new training that do nothing to reduce the racist attacks against our community, nuanced way to transition the black body into a corpse, and reduced coverage of the crimes cast against us. Thus, all strides forward must meditate on what we, as a collective, can do moving forward. Whether it’s self-policing, self-education on laws, arming ourselves, or working to place nationalist objectives on the larger agenda, it is on the black collective to make murdering black people for sport obsolete.
In conclusion, it is both an intriguing and terrifying experience to live in a country that views black death as the ultimate capital in a capitalistic country, but anti-black desire for black death is exactly why the black collective must not only refuse to die but dare to live.