Recently, The New York Police Department released a video, introducing their idea of “Blue racism”. The video describes how the NYPD are victims of racist targeting. This could not be more twisted. In fact, they could not be more hypocritical. The NYPD is notorious for racial profiling and racially targeting communities and people of color. Eras such as the 80’s are times for critical analysis between police and people of color. The New York Police Department’s latest video is a blatant shot at the thousands of people of color who have been affected by racist policing. The records of history will show that, in fact, members of the New York Police Department, are indeed the racist ones.
The War On Drugs was first officially declared by Richard Nixon in 1971. In the following years, crack made its way through Black communities within New York. Neighborhoods like Brooklyn, Bronx, and Queens were hit heavily by racist policing and systemic targeting. Social media painted the Black boys of these neighborhoods as “criminals”. There was an estimated two-thousand inmate jump in incarceration numbers during this era. As “Law and order” became the new “Segregation forever,” forces of the New York Police Department heavily hit neighborhoods that were already crumbling. Neighborhoods were ruined, crack was influenced, police abused members of the Black community, and then accused them. Unfortunately, this was the norm for the Black neighborhoods of New York.
When Stop-and-frisk, introduced by Rudy Giuliani, became a legitimate practice in New York, people of color were racially profiled in a completely legal way. It is often discussed that the ideas behind policy making after the Civil Rights Act, was still to target communities of color, without using explicit language regarding race. This is how the War On Drugs, as well as Stop-And-Frisk, was able to happen. As expected to happen, people of color were targeted the most. Donald Trump showed support for this movement during his campaign trail, “stop-and-frisk worked. We had tremendous shootings, number of shootings”. In fact, stop-and-frisk did nothing to aid crime rates but only caused more incarceration of people of color.
Being criticized and then justifiably hated for racist behavior is not being a victim of racism.
Kalief Browder and Pedro Hernandez are two victims in recent history who have been played by the racist justice system that is still in place. Two innocent boys of color were locked up in Rikers Island awaiting trial. After years of being abused inside Rikers Island for committing no crime at all, Kalief Browder took his own life. Pedro Hernandez has since been released, but the fact still remains that the New York justice system is at fault for the death of Kalief Browder.
The Blue Lives Matter movement shows that White issues only ever get brought up when the Black community attempts to voice their concerns. The only time we see white people upset is when the issues for people of color are being worked to resolve. There are no white-rights rallies until after white people grow angry at people of color for wanting the same rights they inherently hold. The same goes for the NYPD, never did they claim they were victims of racism before movements like Black Lives Matter gained momentum. Also, their usage of the word is out of the word’s definition. Being a victim of racism means that you are systematically targeted through racist institutions.
Being criticized and then justifiably hated for racist behavior is not being a victim of racism. If a police officer feels as though they are being hated and doesn’t like it, tell that officer to take off his uniform. Tell them to enjoy the privilege of being able to remove the hate placed on you just by taking off a uniform. The police department even went as far as to use a Martin Luther King Jr. quote in their video about “blue racism”. That is beyond disrespectful, due to the fact that police across the U.S. have historically been an enemy against civil rights movements, notoriously known for taking militarized tactics to fight against the support for equal rights of all people.