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America’s Blue Plague: Police Violence Against Blacks...

                                          America’s Blue Plague:
                                                             Police Violence Against Blacks
Imam Khalid Griggs "All Black Lives Matter"

By Imam Khalid Fattah Griggs
6 Shawal 1441 A.H. 
Some images are virtually impossible to expunge from our mind’s eye. Such is the
case with the video of an African American man, George Floyd, begging for his life as a
White Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, forcefully lodged his knee against his
neck for at least five minutes resulting in Floyd’s death. Yet, the callous disregard for
Floyd’s life evidenced by the smug, casual demeanor of his killer is equally as
egregious, if such a thing is possible, as the murder itself. The sight of Officer Chauvin,
one hand placed in his pocket and glancing at his victim as if he were a newly-captured
hunting target, is reminiscent of pictures from the 1930’s-1950’s of White American
men, women, and children gathered around newly lynched and/or burnt African
American corpses while adorned in church clothes and carrying picnic baskets. The fact
that George Floyd joins a long 21 st century list of unarmed African American men killed
by police officers can be reasonably traced to two uniquely American phenomenon.
Firstly, this nation has miserably failed to remove from society all blatant and subtle
vestiges of structural racism. And secondly, as difficult as it may be for many to accept,
modern-day police forces across the country have not fundamentally repurposed their
mission from their slave patrol antecedents.
In colonial days, the American South was virtually totally dependent on slave labor.
Plantation owners lived in constant fear of slave rebellions and losing valuable
mainstays of the southern economy, slaves. The first state to empower slave patrols
was South Carolina in the early 1700s. According to historian Gary Potter, slave patrols
had three primary functions:
1. to chase down, apprehend, and return to their owners’ runaway slaves
2. to provide a form of organized terror to deter slave revolts
3. to maintain a form of discipline for slave workers who were subject to summary
justice, outside the law.
Hence, slave patrols, “one of the earliest and most prolific forms of policing in the
South,” eventually provided the model for modern day police forces in the United States.
Slave patrols, like its modern-day counterpart, police departments, relied heavily on
racist, aggressive, often brutal recruits to fill its ranks. FBI internal reports on local
policing confirm the notion that today’s police departments are populated by sizeable
numbers of white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and skinheads. While never a moral,
ethical, or legal justification for police officers targeting Blacks for physical abuse and
killing, many police departments are so deeply entrenched in their slave patrol roots as
protectors of the white upper class that Black lives are dispensable and highly devalued.
With a few notable exceptions, structural racism permeates practically every institution
of American social, economic, and religious life, including local, state, and national law
enforcement agencies. Without the cooperation of corporate media and educational
institutions, more Black and non-Black people of good conscience would never accept
the street execution of Black men and women by rogue cops as merely unfortunate
reoccurring happenings of an imperfect society; something to decry and feel sad about
but little else. Police killing of unarmed, mostly Black men is a national undeclared
emergency.
In the aftermath of urban rebellions following the police execution of Blacks, the
corporate media conditions the American public to focus its anger, disgust, and
denunciation away from the perpetrators of the serial killing of African Americans on to
the spontaneous acts of the dispossessed victims of structural racism. To call urban
rebellions like those occurring in Minneapolis “riots” is to minimize and denigrate the
legitimate attention garnering cries for help/change to an otherwise voiceless people.
This is by no means a justification for criminal behavior only a recognition that the
centuries-long pent up frustration borne by the non-WASP privileged population has
reached the point of social explosion.
Just as the Covid-19 pandemic in the United States demands strong visionary
leadership to halt and eradicate it, the plagues of structural racism and the Blue Plague
similarly need course changes in leadership, attitudes, and commitment from all of us.
The adage that “those who do not know their history will be forced to repeat it” is a
truism that has been verified over time.

Views: 36

Comment by Bilal Mahmud المكافح المخلص on May 29, 2020 at 11:12am
Dr. Ihsan Bagby  PhD
6 Shawal 1441 A.H. 

Anger is good. We should be angry at the persistent, endemic racism of this country; angry at the arrogance of police and politicians. LET'S DEMONSTRATE AND PROTEST. But anger is a bad leader. Wisdom should be the leader. In the 1960s we were angry, and this anger led us to Islam and what we saw as the better guidance of divine wisdom. So we should all support the protests and join forces with all those who want change. This is part of Malcolm's agenda of becoming involved with all who want to change society. I am so encouraged by the many young people who are motivated by these injustices. My morning Quran meditation where I open the Quran seeking guidance, led me today to this verse: "Help one another (join forces with one another) in righteousness and mindfulness of God, and do not help one another to sin and enmity. But be mindful of God" That's wisdom.

Comment by Bilal Mahmud المكافح المخلص on May 29, 2020 at 11:13am

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Comment by Bilal Mahmud المكافح المخلص on May 29, 2020 at 11:25am
Abu Ruyaa

6 Shawal 1441 A.H. 

·

The white crew in the same area weren’t arrested...

A CNN crew was arrested by Minnesota state police Friday morning while giving a live television report in Minneapolis, where the crew was covering ongoing protests over the death of George Floyd -- an arrest that has drawn an apology from the state's governor.
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A CNN crew was arrested by Minnesota
Comment by Bilal Mahmud المكافح المخلص on May 29, 2020 at 12:01pm
Abu Ruyaa
6 Shawal 1441 A.H. 
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison discusses the death of George Floyd following his arrest by Minneapolis police, and the third night of protests in t...
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Comment by Bilal Mahmud المكافح المخلص on May 29, 2020 at 12:03pm
Abu Ruyaa

6 Shawal 1441 A.H. 

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Comment by Bilal Mahmud المكافح المخلص on May 29, 2020 at 12:07pm
Abu Ruyaa

6 Shawal 1441 A.H. 

 
Comment by Bilal Mahmud المكافح المخلص on May 29, 2020 at 5:53pm
Abu Ruyaa

6 Shawal 1441 A.H. 

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BLM Rally Atlanta, Ga. 2020...

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Comment by Bilal Mahmud المكافح المخلص on May 31, 2020 at 9:01pm
Ihsan Bagby
8 Shawal  1441 A.H. 

An immigrant sister, with whom I have collaborated on some good projects, emailed me and said that now she gets it, and that she is embarrassed that she has sat in meetings where people made racist remarks about Black people. But now, no more. Yes, no more. Let us join forces with all people to root out racism in our society. Let us join forces to shine Allah's light on the racism that exists within the Muslim community. We need to say, no more. MANA started a "Healing and Reconciliation" project around 2009 to confront the issue of racism. Many people didn't see it as a priority. I pray that they will now. I hope that a revitalized MANA under the direction of Imam Zaid will lead the way. Also let us support MuslimArc and their good work.

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