Dallas Police Chief David Brown threw his hat into the ring regarding the discussion on how to fight injustice by saying that instead of protesting, Black men and women should join the police force.
Yes, you read that right.
“Serve your community, don’t be a part of the problem. We’re hiring. We’re hiring,” he said to a bevy of chuckles during a press conference on Monday. “Get out that protest line and put an application in, and we’ll put you in your neighborhood and we will help you resolve some of the problems you are protesting about.”
Brown’s comment was one of many this weekend that lent critique to young Black men without considering a system that absolves law enforcement of accountability and blame.
First Rudy Giuliani went on a media tirade over the weekend, shaming Black parents with his rant on respectability politics. The former mayor of New York City even boasted – with full audacity – that his policies have saved more lives than the Black Lives Matter movement.
“If I were a black father, and I was concerned with the safety of my child, really concerned about it and not in a politically activist sense, I would say, ‘Be very respectful of the police,’” Giuliani said during an appearance on CBS’s Face the Nation. “Most of them are good. Some can be very bad. And just be very careful.”
“I’d also say, be very careful of those kids in the neighborhood and don’t get involved with them because, son, there’s a 99 percent chance they’re going to kill you, not the police. And we’ve got to hear that from the black community. And what we’ve got to hear from the black community is how and what they are doing among themselves about the crime problem in the black community.”
While solution-based critiques are welcome, it seems futile to ask young Black men to join an already broken system.
We know not all police are bad, however this suggestion would not fix the layers of racial, institutional, and economic barriers that Black communities face, especially in neighborhoods like Dallas, Baton Rouge, St. Paul, Baltimore, and Ferguson. With the increase in the militarization of police, how does joining rank add to quell the status quo?
Does this mean that Martin Luther King Jr., Jesse Jackson, Cesar Chavez, Angela Davis, and Ghandi were wrong for seeking civil liberties through protesting? Should they have dropped rank and joined their local police force to see results?
Let’s stop with the respectability politics and face the real issue. There is a systemic problem in America that needs to be addressed: a police culture that rarely serves Black communities. Until we address the complicated institution of policing, no amount of policing in our communities will work, whether it be modest or aggressive.
SOURCE: Twitter, Fox, CBS | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty