America’s Covenant with Evil
Last week the Republican party presented its much-ballyhooed police reform bill. The Bill was introduced under the mantra, “we hear you.” The substance of the Bill suggests that a more appropriate mantra would have been, “we hear you, but we choose to ignore you.
As expected, the Justice Act, as it is called, is not worth the paper it was printed on. It contains no provisions which would curb the scourge of police brutality, nor did it band deadly chokeholds. It does not band no-knock warrants, nor does it prevent racial profiling. Police brutality is not addressed in any meaningful way, at a time when racism and police brutality in the United States has created a revolution that has spread to practically all four corners of the globe. The republican senate has decided to do nothing. The Bill says that “Black lives don’t matter. It says that “blacks have no rights that the police are obliged to respect.” If this phrase sounds familiar, it should. I wish I could say that I was the first to use this language. Unfortunately, I am not. It was language written by Roger Taney, former Chief Justice of the United States Supreme court when he wrote the Dredd Scott decision. But, I will return to that. The Republican Bill amounts to a series of weakly worded, non-binding suggestions. It’s Like saying to your child, as you observe him mercilessly battering someone else’s child , “Please be nice, but don’t feel pressured .” The Bill amounts to an attempt at granting absolution. It communicates a lack of seriousness. After all, “boys will be boys is what it says.” In the ultimate display of pandering, the republicans trotted out their lone African American Senator, Tim Scott of South Carolina as the spokesperson for the measure.
Interestingly, Scott refused to consult with any of his African American colleagues in the senate, while spending hours consulting with his white senate colleagues. The Bill, like the Dredd Scott decision, attempts to deny the humanity of African Americans. What’s implied in the Bill’s failure to address the issue is that there is no real issue to address. And for many Americans unacquainted with the history of Police brutality, there isn’t. The problem is whites are new to police…