The scenes of the last few days in the town of Ferguson, Missouri, have pulled the covers off of how Blacks and cops interact in modern-day America.
In words and deeds, it reveals a state of war, with both sides riddled with bone-chilling fear.
For fear is ever-present in any war, no matter who is better armed.
Fear is also irrational, and so strong that it powers and fuels reactions, ones bred deep in the soul.
The shooting of an 18-year old youth, unarmed and surrendering; the repeated shooting of the youth; the resultant mass protests at his death, and the staging of an array of military material to threaten and intimidate people, who dared to protest.
Unarmed people, marching in the street with signs, were opposed by cops armed with the weapons and tools of war; armored personnel carriers; automatic submachine guns; sniper rifles.
Aimed at dark citizens who are allegedly ‘citizens’ of the State; citizens they are sworn to ‘serve and protect’.
But the central issue surrounding the killing of 18 year old Mike Brown has not been yet reported.
Remember, they called him ‘Big Mike’ — and there-in lies the tale.
Norm Stamper, a former beat cop and former police chief in Seattle, wrote, in his 2005 book, Breaking Ranks, the following:
Simply put, 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. The African American community knows this. Hell, most whites know it. Yet, even though it’s the central, if not the defining ingredient in the makeup of police racism, white cops won’t admit it to themselves, or to others. [p.92]
There it is. Cut and dried.
The cop, Darren Wilson, saw ‘Big Mike’, and felt, in the pit of his gut, mind-numbing fear. The same could be said of literally hundreds of cases, every year, all across America.
It may be disturbing, but that doesn’t mean it ain’t true.
It’s real. And it doesn’t bode well for the future.