“Pro-police advocates push a narrative that policing can’t be racist when there are Black officers on the force,” Bree Newsome Bass writes in an article published by the Black Agenda Report. Bass reports that cities across the US have systematically used Black leaders to oppress and disarm protesters during a pandemic that has disproportionately impacted people of color.
“Black police chiefs are paraded to podiums and cameras to serve as the face of the United States’ racist police state,” Bass reports in an article that argues that the integration of police forces cannot alter their “basic function” as “the primary enforcers of structural racism on a daily basis.” In the article, Bass recalls that, in 2015 when she climbed the flagpole at the capitol building in South Carolina to remove the confederate flag that flew there, a Black police officer was “tasked with raising the flag to the top of its pole again.”
Bass also notes that, when Freddie Gray died in police custody, defenders of police suggested that racism could not be an explanation because three of the officers involved were Black.
The push to defund police, Bass writes, would require “direct confrontation with how the white supremacist system” of policing has been organized “since the end of chattel slavery.”
Source: Bree Newsome Bass, “Black Cops Don’t Make Policing Any Less Anti-Black,” Black Agenda Report, November 11, 2020, https://www.blackagendareport.com/black-cops-dont-make-policing-any-less-anti-black.
Student Researcher: Jean N. Mervil (Indian River State College)
Faculty Evaluator: Elliot D. Cohen (Indian River State College)