Trump’s Blindness Toward Slavery, Jim Crow

Exclusive: Donald Trump’s remarkable comments about American blacks never being worse off demonstrated a stunning ignorance of or callousness toward the grotesque evils of slavery and Jim Crow, writes Marjorie Cohn.

By Marjorie Cohn

The almost daily reports of police killings of African-Americans and resulting community outrage have shined a light on persistent racism in the United States. Yet, in the first presidential debate, Donald Trump was asked what he would do to heal the racial divide and replied: “Bring back law and order.”

He added that the use of stop-and-frisk in New York and Chicago “worked very well” and “brought the crime rate way down.”

Post card photo of the lynching of Elias Clayton, Elmer Jackson and Isaac McGhie in  Duluth, Minnesota, June 15. 1920.

Post card photo of the lynching of Elias Clayton, Elmer Jackson and Isaac McGhie in Duluth, Minnesota, June 15. 1920.

But, as reported in the New York Times, “about 90 percent of the people who were stopped were young black or Latino men who had committed no crime whatsoever, according to police data. Of those few who were arrested, the vast majority were charged with nothing more serious than possession of marijuana, not having guns.”

When debate moderator Lester Holt noted that stop-and-frisk had been ruled unconstitutional in New York because it “largely singled out black and Hispanic young men,” Trump disagreed.

In fact, U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled in the 2013 case of Floyd v. City of New York that New York’s stop-and-frisk program violated the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures since they were conducted without reasonable suspicion. It also violated the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause because the stops and frisks were racially discriminatory, the judge found.

Darius Charney, lead attorney for the Center for Constitutional Rights in Floyd, said, “Stop-and-frisk, as practiced by the NYPD up until 2014, was at its root about equating blackness with criminality and dangerousness, which is exactly the same kind of thinking that has led to all of the horrific and avoidable police shootings of people of color that have captured the nation’s attention over the past few years.”

Before the debate, Trump had said at a rally that “African-American communities are absolutely in the worst shape that they’ve ever been in before. Ever. Ever. Ever.”

Trump apparently forgot about slavery and Jim Crow. In her 1861 slave narrative, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Harriet Jacobs wrote, “Various were the punishments [of slaves] resorted to. A favorite one was to tie a rope round a man’s body, and suspend him from the ground. A fire was kindled over him, from which was suspended a piece of fat pork. As this cooked, the scalding drops of fat continually fell on the bare flesh.”

When a slave ran away, Jacobs added, bloodhounds tracked him, then “literally tore the flesh from his bones.” If a slave resisted going with his new master, Jacobs noted, “The whip is used till the blood flows at his feet; and his stiffened limbs are put in chains, to be dragged in the field for days and days!”

‘Insulting’ Ignorance

NAACP president Cornell William Brooks said on CNN that Trump’s comments that blacks are worse off now than ever demonstrated “an insulting degree of ignorance and/or insensitivity,” ignoring the lynching of African-Americans, separate drinking fountains, forced seating at the back of the bus, and slavery. Brooks added that Trump’s remarks revealed “a profound insensitivity to what we are going through at this very moment.”

A photograph showing the whipping scars on the back of an African-American slave.

A photograph showing the whipping scars on the back of an African-American slave.

The head of the United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent compared police killings of African-Americans in the United States to lynchings.

“Contemporary police killings, and the trauma they create, are reminiscent of the past racial terror of lynching,” Ricardo Sunga III said. He attributed the “current human rights crisis” to “impunity for state violence,” noting the working group “is convinced that the root of the problem lies in the serious lack of accountability for perpetrators of such killings despite the evidence.”

Human rights experts from New York University Law School, University of Virginia School of Law, and St. Louis University School of Law concur. In a submission to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) for a hearing on “Excessive Use of Force by the Police against Black Americans in the United States,” they wrote that in 2015, police officers killed at least 1,139 people in the U.S. More than 25 percent of the victims of police violence were black, which is “grossly disproportionate” to their numbers in the national population.

“Impunity and the lack of accountability lie at the heart of a cycle of police violence and discrimination against Black Americans,” the legal experts noted. They added that the legal framework regulating the use of force in the U.S. “does not conform to the requirements of international human rights law or international best practices,” which require law enforcement to “apply nonviolent means before resorting to the use of force.”

If force is “unavoidable,” officers must “exercise restraint in such use and act in proportion to the seriousness of the offense.” In all circumstances where force is used, police must “minimize damage . . . and respect and preserve human life” and dignity. “Intentional lethal use of firearms may only be made when strictly unavoidable in order to protect life.”

We see repeated situations in which officers respond to a scene and use deadly force as a first, not a last, resort. Police are trained to shoot to kill, not to incapacitate. They often opt to shoot rather than using tasers, although there is also overuse of tasers.

Officers in San Diego County’s El Cajon knew that Alfred Olango had mental illness. Yet instead of calling the Psychiatric Emergency Response Teams, which is trained to defuse these types of situations, the police responded to Olango’s sister’s call for help earlier this week by shooting him while his hands were in the air.

Three days after Olango was killed, a black man with bipolar disorder was shot and killed by Los Angeles County police following his call for help.

Inherent Police Bias

The IACHR report charged that “deferring to the views of officers” about what constitutes a lawful use of force “runs the risk of allowing their biases – whether explicit or implicit – to define the parameter of the lawful use of force.”

A screen-shot from a video showing Walter Scott being shot in the back by a North Charleston, South Carolina, police officer Michael Slager on April 4, 2015. (Video via the New York Times.)

A screen-shot from a video showing Walter Scott being shot in the back by a North Charleston, South Carolina, police officer Michael Slager on April 4, 2015. (Video via the New York Times.)

Implicit bias describes unconscious prejudices, attitudes and stereotypes. Researchers at the Yale Child Study Center concluded that implicit bias determines the way teachers deal with African-American male students beginning at four years of age.

“The problem of discriminatory police violence is not simply one of inadequate training,” the IACHR report continued. “It cannot be separated from systemic racism and inadequate accountability mechanisms.”

“Aggressive police practices are deeply rooted in a history of discrimination against Black Americans and are part of a system of racial and social control,” the report noted. Its authors identify “broken windows” policing, which targets petty crime; racial profiling, in which people of color are “stereotyped as violent criminals or drug abusers”; increasing militarization of police, who use military equipment even when responding to non-violent crime; and “for-profit policing,” where law enforcement raises considerable revenue from fines and criminal and civil forfeiture.

Three sociology professors from Harvard, Yale and Oxford determined that 911 calls decreased by 17 percent in Milwaukee during the year after the 2004 beating of Frank Jude Jr. They found that African-Americans were less likely to call the police after learning that officers “boot-stomped [Jude’s] face, snapped his fingers and pressed pens into his ear canals” because they suspected him of stealing a police badge.

Matthew Desmond and Andrew Papachristos, two of the professors who conducted the Milwaukee study, wrote in the New York Times: “Each new tragedy contributes to and reawakens the collective trauma of black communities, which have been subjected to state-sanctioned assaults – from slave whippings and lynching campaigns to Jim Crow enforcement and mass incarceration – for generations.”

Clinton’s Proposals

Hillary Clinton has called for police training programs to eliminate implicit bias and proposed a plan “to restore bonds between communities and law enforcement.” She vowed to bring law enforcement and communities together to develop national guidelines on the use of force by police officers, support legislation to end racial profiling, dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline, and provide greater transparency and accountability for officer-involved shootings.

Dashcam video of Chicago police shooting Laquan McDonald.

Dashcam video of Chicago police shooting Laquan McDonald.

All police shootings should be investigated and, if warranted, prosecuted by an independent and impartial special prosecutor. Citizens police review boards should have independent investigators, independent legal counsel, and subpoena power.

“We need an investigative model rather than a review model, where the board does its own investigations rather than just reviewing what the police have done,” Kate Yavenditti, from the National Lawyers Guild and Women Occupy San Diego, told me.

We owe a debt of gratitude to the Black Lives Matter movement across the country, which has exposed the way in which local, state and federal governments, the corporate media, and the judicial system actively participate in exonerating the police and demonizing the victim.

The U.N. Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent, comprised of top human rights lawyers from around the world, told the U.N. Human Rights Council last week that the United States owes reparations to African-Americans as compensation for “the legacy of colonial history, enslavement, racial subordination and segregation, racial terrorism and racial inequality.”

The working group concluded that U.S. slave labor would be worth about $5.9 trillion today. But reparations could be provided in the form of “a formal apology, health initiatives, educational opportunities . . . psychological rehabilitation, technology transfer and financial support, and debt cancellation.”

Our society continues to be plagued by the legacy of slavery – the “peculiar institution” – as well as Jim Crow and continuing, pernicious racism. Calls for “law and order” and stop-and-frisk will not heal the wounds, and will only exacerbate the tensions. Yet, that is what Donald Trump has prescribed.

Marjorie Cohn is professor emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and former president of the National Lawyers Guild. She is a frequent writer, lecturer and commentator about civil rights and civil liberties. Visit her website at and follow her on Twitter @marjoriecohn.

41 comments for “Trump’s Blindness Toward Slavery, Jim Crow

  1. John Doe II
    October 3, 2016 at 17:43
  2. Zachary Smith
    October 3, 2016 at 13:57

    Beyond “no justice, no peace”: In case after case, cops shoot black people and walk away. What can we do?

    That’s the headline of a Salon piece. Oddly enough, Trump’s name wasn’t mentioned. But perhaps that’s not such an oddity. Many stories about Syria somehow avoid using the word “Israel” in them.

    Still about Trump, I saw a Google News story about Trump calling veterans with PTSD weaklings.

    Draft-dodger Donald Trump: Veterans with PTSD “can’t handle” combat


    I have no other conclusion than my “broken record” explanation that the man is doing his damnedest to lose.

    • John Doe II
      October 3, 2016 at 17:26

      Zachary Smith,

      Do you think he’d commit his votes to the Libertarian candidate?
      Mr. Trump, the Ultimate Libertarian suddenly steering his voters
      into Ayn Rand’s Faithful Followers – ? Could this be happening?

      • dahoit
        October 4, 2016 at 08:46

        The Kochs are for HRC.

    • Zachary Smith
      October 3, 2016 at 23:33

      I really don’t know. I’d say few of his people who become unhappy with the man would switch to Hillary, so it seems reasonable they’d either throw their votes away on a fringe party or stay home.

      Earlier today I was talking to a relative who shares my belief he is playing to lose. This relative speculated what Trump might do if Hillary had a fit or fainting spell during the debate. What could he do to make himself even more undesirable than an obviously unfit Hillary? Start laughing and telling Dying Hillary jokes on the national TV, or wait a decent interval and start up the Tweet machine and do it the next day?

  3. Patrick
    October 3, 2016 at 11:09

    The author took the statement too literally. Of course Trump knows African Americans were much worse off then now. He is not an idiot. The statement is an exaggeration to make a point. A lot of his statements are like this and they do get everyone’s attention but taken literally the message is lost. The point is about inner cities such as Chicago. You can argue for the causes or solutions but you can not argue those places are very unsafe.

    • Annie
      October 3, 2016 at 12:22

      He really didn’t say, or imply that blacks were worse off then they ever have been. He specifically targeted their lives under Obama. I heard it, and his words once again were twisted as they were when he made a remark about supreme court judges, and second amendment rights. It all got turned around to suggest he wanted to have a gun toting 2nd amendment advocate put a hit on Clinton. I’m not a supporter of Trump but it’s disturbing to see propaganda spewed all over the net, and on sites I use to gain a better understanding of this world.

    • John Doe II
      October 3, 2016 at 14:36

      Patrick — “Of course Trump knows African Americans were much worse off then now.”

      If only you knew,Patrick, if only you had a clue of the reality that existed after ‘slavery’ — including during the Industrial Revolution where corporate giants acquired massive wealth using unpaid Convict Labor.

      FYI —

  4. exiled off mainstreet
    October 3, 2016 at 10:56

    What is worse? Evidence of historical ignorance or complicity in war crimes? It is bad enough that those leading the misdirection themselves share some responsibility for the war crimes they are indirectly defending when the evidence is so obvious. In the context of the present reality, all of this becomes barely relevant. I also suspect it’s all a put-up propaganda job in any event.

  5. John Doe II
    October 3, 2016 at 09:37

    (from) 2 Timothy 3

    Don’t be naive. There are difficult times ahead. As the end approaches, people are going to be self-absorbed, money-hungry, self-promoting, stuck-up, profane, contemptuous of parents, crude, coarse, dog-eat-dog, unbending, slanderers, impulsively wild, savage, cynical, treacherous, ruthless, bloated windbags, addicted to lust, and allergic to God.

    Trump, marvelously described.

  6. Annie
    October 2, 2016 at 22:37

    It is claimed in this article, and so many like it that when Trump claimed blacks never had it worse he was displaying his ignorance of black history. Ignorant of slavery and the Jim Crow South. I heard his remarks and he was targeting their economic plight under Obama, ergo, the democratic party was of no help to them, so they have nothing to lose by voting for him. I know that the housing bubble hit the black communities hard and under the Obama presidency there was some degree of recovery, but nonetheless there is a very significant disparity in wealth between blacks and whites in this country. This author like too many others who want to discuss the plight of blacks misrepresent Trump’s remarks to draw people in with a sensational lie, and in doing so diminish their own work.

    • John Doe II
      October 3, 2016 at 11:48


      The 13th: inside Ava DuVernay’s Netflix prison documentary on racial inequality

      Hillary Clinton’s controversial ‘super-predators’ remark is highlighted in trailer of film on why the US has produced the highest rate of incarceration in the world

      Ava DuVernay’s documentary The 13th was the first non-fiction film to premiere at the New York film festival.

      “What you see on the news is a story 150 years in the making,” says the scrolling text in the first trailer for Ava DuVernay’s The 13th, a documentary about race in America.

      The Netflix project examines why the US has produced the highest rate of incarceration in the world, with the majority of those imprisoned being African American. The title of the film refers to the 13th amendment to the constitution: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States.”

      Beginning with DW Griffith’s technically groundbreaking but profoundly racist 1915 film The Birth of a Nation, The 13th is reported to take in the civil rights movement, the 1994 Crime Bill, which extended the death penalty and encouraged states to lengthen prison sentences, and the surge of the Black Lives Matter movement. It makes its debut on Friday at the New York film festival, the first non-fiction film to ever do so. The festival director and selection committee chair, Kent Jones, has said in a statement that The 13th is a “great film” and “an act of true patriotism”.

      The trailer sets up DuVernay’s documentary as a provocative a mix of archival footage and testimonies from activists, politicians and historians, including Michelle Alexander, Bryan Stevenson, Van Jones, Newt Gingrich, Angela Davis, Senator Cory Booker, Grover Norquist, Khalil Muhammad, Craig DeRoche, Shaka Senghor, Malkia Cyril and Henry Louis Gates Jr.

      The 13th debuts on Netflix and in select theaters on 7 October, DuVernay, best known for directing 2014’s Oscar-nominated Selma, had kept the project a secret from the public during its production.

  7. James lake
    October 2, 2016 at 21:30

    I live in the UK and have only visited the US twice and really didn’t like it, as racial problems stick out like a sore thumb in every day life.

    There has been a black president for eight years. What do you expect from Donald Trump?
    The democrats like to keep the black people as marginalised victims who vote for them because they say nice things every four years to get the vote
    And the republicans really don’t engage at all.
    Black people need better civil society representatives that actually address the whole range of issues that hold them back
    Family breakdown, education, housing, employment, crime,
    The debate needs to move beyond being victims of white society to developing a platform to address these issues.
    No politician is going to change things for black people the people have to do it themselves

    • John Doe II
      October 3, 2016 at 09:59

      “The debate needs to move beyond being victims of white society to developing a platform to address these issues.” James lake

      The most recent iteration of that notion is the Black Lives Matter movement.

      The group has been accused of being a terrorist organization by some white “leaders.” – This is a repeated history in the USA. Blacks organize and are provocatively attacked, marginalized, imprisoned and defamed out of existence. It will never change. Effective leaders are murdered or bought off.

      As Walter Cronkite stated in his daily sign-off, “And That’s The Way It Is.”

      It will never change, James lake — never. Just look at the infamous bias targeted toward our 1st (and only) Black President !!!

  8. RPDC
    October 2, 2016 at 19:47

    Even Consortium News is proving the point (made, surprisingly, by The Atlantic):

    “The press takes Trump literally, but not seriously; his supporters take him seriously, but not literally.”

  9. geradl
    October 2, 2016 at 18:38

    Sorry, have only read the subtitle… However I’m sure if Trump had taken a second longer to think before he spoke, he would have added “in the last 40 years” or something. I don’t think he’s any more racist than the next member of the 0.01%-Club.

    To the issue of black vs white, that could have been less virulent in the recent past. But the whole funding of black lives matter by soros and other thieves makes me see all this as not much more than a media hype that is being milked to very nefarious ends. Also Israel seems to have helped in instructing police officers to never really endanger themselves, so that even a very low risk should encourage them to rather use their guns.

  10. Tania Messina
    October 2, 2016 at 17:50

    P.S. Let’s add to the list above of great black men with great common sense, Louis Farrakhan as he talks about the monster we have created and why he is for Trump. Link below.

  11. Tania Messina
    October 2, 2016 at 16:30

    This article does a good job of being very one-sided. Let’s ask ourselves why Sheriff David Clark calls “Black Lives Matter” a hateful ideology, why Charles Evers, who in the early 70’s ran for governor of Mississippi, and brother of slain Medgar Evers, endorsed Trump months ago on NPR, why Morgan Freeman, when asked on national TV, how do we end racism, responded, “We stop talking about it.” Ben Carson calls BLM a bullying organization that should omit the word “black” from its title, and links the movement to the dangers of “political correctness,” which has essentially undermined our freedom of speech.

    Slavery was overt before emancipation, now it has been replaced by a covert bondage while many in economically depressed areas, including blacks, are enslaved by the drugs that seem so easily to find their way to these communities. By perpetuating the slavery of the past as opposed to exposing the slavery of today for what it is, we are purposely being diverted from the real issues of the day. Keeping the public constantly focused on a perception of black victimization intentionally diverts our attention from the world issues that, if not solved sometime soon, could end it for us all overnight.

    Simply put: get out of the Middle East, stop bleeding more than $8 million a day to Israel, as Jill Stein put it so well, and end the absurd “cold war” that is constantly used as an excuse for all of our failings. Recognize Putin for the excellent, disciplined statesman that he is and make peace with Russia that just may one day get so sick of our bullying, that they find it impossible to restrain any longer.

    • Zachary Smith
      October 2, 2016 at 21:25

      …why Charles Evers, who in the early 70’s ran for governor of Mississippi, and brother of slain Medgar Evers, endorsed Trump months ago on NPR,

      There is a brief news story you ought to examine.

      Interesting parts:

      A prominent civil rights activist has publicly endorsed Donald Trump, praising the presidential candidate for what he believes to be his business acumen.

      Charles Evers, 93, said he believed in the Republican frontrunner ‘first of all because he’s a businessman’ and that ‘jobs are badly needed in Mississippi’, reported Clarion Ledger.

      Evans is the brother of slain civil rights reader Medgar Evans and was the first black mayor to be elected in Mississippi back in 1969.

      His comments come despite an incident Monday night where 30 black students were removed from a Donald Trump rally in Georgia shortly before the candidate appeared on stage.

      When asked about the incident, Evers replied: ‘I haven’t seen any proof of him being a racist.’

      I would suggest that Mr. Evers’ eyesight isn’t very good after his 93 years on the earth. It’s true that that Trump may not have authorized this, but it’s also as plain as the nose on your face he tolerates and encourages any and all real and potential “problems” being evicted from his events.

      Another winning factor of Trump’s campaign was his Christian faith, added Evers.

      Trump is as much a Christian as I am a left-handed Chinese female. Yes, Mr. Evers’ 93 years are showing.

      The nasty man may be better than Hillary, but that’s a mighty low bar.

      • backwardsevolution
        October 3, 2016 at 00:01

        Zachary – were these 30 black students part of George Soros’ Black Lives Matter, and there to disrupt? Were they bused in from elsewhere like others have been? Were they genuinely there to listen, or did they want to persuade others that Trump was bad? If so, they can do that outside. No different than 30 white students.

  12. Jerad
    October 2, 2016 at 16:29

    Waste of an article. Everyone knows by now that Trump overuses hyperbole. To suggest he is ignorant of Jim Crow laws and slavery is just flat out ridiculous.

    • backwardsevolution
      October 2, 2016 at 19:29

      Jerad – yes, ridiculous.

  13. backwardsevolution
    October 2, 2016 at 15:41

    The TV program “Who Do You Think You Are?” featured Emmitt Smith in one of their episodes, who seems like a wonderful man. He decided to trace his roots back to Africa, Benin to be exact. In the following clip, at the 38:00 minute mark, Emmitt is at a children’s orphanage. He asks why the children are there, and he’s told that they are as a result of children trafficking. So Emmitt Smith says, “There’s still slavery and trafficking going on here now?” He is informed that the children’s poor parents have sold their own children into slavery.

    This disgusting practice is still going on. How do you possibly right the wrongs that have been done?

    • Bill Bodden
      October 2, 2016 at 21:22

      Child trafficking is not limited to Africa. It is a global problem.

      • backwardsevolution
        October 3, 2016 at 00:18

        That’s my point, Bill. Slavery and trafficking didn’t just happen in the United States. It happened and is still happening everywhere. Emmitt Smith went to Africa to see where it all started, and was surprised that this was still going on. Many like to think slavery was isolated to the United States, and only to blacks. Many, many whites from Europe were brought to the U.S. as indentured servants. Children were kidnapped off the streets in England; convicts were sent. Interesting we never hear about this.

        How could there ever be reparations for all of this?

  14. Pablo Diablo
    October 2, 2016 at 15:16

    Sadly, THE DONALD has a large following. Is Hillary the “best we can do”? An empire in decline.

    • backwardsevolution
      October 2, 2016 at 19:27

      Pablo – no, Hillary is the “worst you could do”. By a long shot. The Clinton’s are absolute crooks, all the way from Arkansas to leaving the White House with the china, to the Clinton Foundation. One scandal after another, all ending in “gate”. No wonder the elite have chosen her – she’s a team player. To top it all off, she’s a really good warmonger who will line the coffers of the arms dealers, weapons manufacturers and keep the military security complex rolling along.

      The Donald has a large following for a reason – people have had enough.

      • Bill Bodden
        October 2, 2016 at 21:20

        no, Hillary is the “worst you could do”

        Make that the Clintons and their supporters are the worst you can do with the Trumps and their supporters running neck and neck with the Clintons for that title.

  15. backwardsevolution
    October 2, 2016 at 15:07

    So Hillary is going to train up the police officers, is she? All politics. No doubt there are too many police shootings. The day that the black man, Keith Lamont, was shot and killed by the police, five white people were also shot and killed by the police. Nothing about them. Absolutely nothing. No towns were set on fire, no stores looted over them.

    Blacks have every right to be angry, but not just for blacks. All lives matter.

    Black Lives Matter is heavily funded by Soros. Soros is heavily funding Clinton. Soros believes in having no borders, no nations. He uses “divide and conquer” tactics to split people apart. He is busy at it right now.

    • Zachary Smith
      October 2, 2016 at 17:06

      It’s entirely possible that white folks are killed at the same rate as blacks, and whites are both indifferent and color-blind to all police killings. I don’t have any information about that, so I just can’t say.

      What is certain is that the police are getting trained to embrace immediate deadly violence. From the UK Guardian:

      Craig Atkinson’s documentary about police militarization, Do Not Resist, is filled with unsettling scenes like the one where a Swat team destroys a family’s home during a drug raid that nets small amounts of loose marijuana. But the most disturbing scene transpires during the relative placidity of a seminar when a hugely successful lecturer tells a room full of police officers: “We are at war and you are the frontline.

      “What do you fight violence with? Superior violence. Righteous violence. Violence is your tool … You are men and women of violence.”

      The speaker, Dave Grossman, is a retired army lieutenant colonel with a packed national speaking schedule. In the film, Grossman also promulgates the notion that one perk of violent encounters is that police often say that afterwards they have the best sex of their lives, which Atkinson, in an interview, sees as parallel to promising virgins to a suicide bomber.

      See how easy it is? Treat everybody except the obviously wealthy whites as Palestinians and later enjoy the best sex of your life.

      How to end this?

      Police using body cams see huge drop in complaints, study says

      LONDON — A Cambridge University study of British and U.S. police shows a 93?percent decrease in the number of complaints made against officers when they are using body cameras, pivotal findings that suggest the devices could reduce conflicts between police and the public.

      If an individual cop’s camera isn’t functioning, he’s terminated and his name is put on a No Cop list to warn future employers. Obviously this will happen about the same time hell freezes over, for shooting people is fun. States like North Carolina are moving in exactly the opposite direction. If the police there happen to have filmed a violent interaction with citizens, that video is put into lock-down.

      Hail To The Old Confederacy! And to it’s latest offspring.


      • Bill Bodden
        October 2, 2016 at 21:17

        See how easy it is? Treat everybody except the obviously wealthy whites as Palestinians and later enjoy the best sex of your life.

        In many instances that has been the role of law enforcement. Check labor history for strikes and other protests (such as Occupy Wall Street) in the United States and western Europe for many examples of the police acting as goon squads for the Establishment. Of course, in line with this excellent article the police and county sheriffs in the Deep South played vital roles in the oppression of Black Americans.

  16. Bill Bodden
    October 2, 2016 at 14:40

    Millions of Americans from children to the oldest of adults repeatedly recite the pledge of allegiance while many of them in their daily lives prove the words are meaningless. [O]ne nation, …, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. Anyone who believes that probably believes President Obama when he says no one is above the law. That’ll be the day.

  17. October 2, 2016 at 12:57

    I had a manager years and years ago. His favorite saying was: “All of us have come down from the trees, but some of us have come down more recently.” Very apropos regarding Trump AND Clinton…one a vast desert of ignorance and the other a maelstrom of cunning – or is it really the other way around?

    • backwardsevolution
      October 2, 2016 at 14:50

      And another quote I like is from Shakespeare: “Hell is empty, and all the devils are here.” We are a messy bunch, whites, blacks and everybody else. All of us.

  18. Erik
    October 2, 2016 at 12:50

    The article flogs a dead horse: the Trump comment no doubt reveals ignorance, but really sounds more sympathetic than not in stating that AAs are worse off now than ever.

    Reparations are not the way to right historical wrongs, because it is impossible to fairly determine who suffered or caused what due to intermarriage, immigration/emigration, variable circumstances etc. This is true for both African and Native Americans. It is also impractical to compare the deficits due to different kinds of injustices.

    The way forward is to compensate historical injuries as we should all other societal and circumstantial wrongs: determine the needs of each individual in the present and give them what they need to develop themselves and work productively, compensating any inabilities to do so. Where that involves special assistance to a definable group or region or nation, it can still be based upon individual needs.

    That method avoids all of the false criticisms of favoritism, as well as potentially valid criticisms of impairing productivity incentives, gaming the system, and other right-wing rhetoric.

    • Erik
      October 2, 2016 at 13:02

      I should add that individually-based aid also is far more palatable to the right wing and the lower middle class, because is basically an insurance system based upon equal rights, not upon very debatable identity-based arguments that cause political battles. Individual aid can be just a strict as necessary to get it past the selfish wealthy voters.

      We do not have such across-the-board guarantees of training and employment because elections and mass media are controlled by the rich, and without those tools of democracy we cannot restore democracy. The anger of the needy should be focused upon that, not upon dreams of jackpots from reparations that cannot be enacted.

  19. onno
    October 2, 2016 at 11:28

    Trump is an in-experienced politician and therefore responds as a businessman which he is. Now the media is all over him for certain issues but when Clinton tell one of her many lies and cheats the Media is SILENCE. The Sunday NYT edition of 10/02/2016 prove again how prejudiced US MSM propaganda really is. On top of that all Trump’s tax returns are speculated on while the Bill and Hillary Clinton Foundation is investigated for criminal activities including multi-million Dollar gifts from foreign countries while she was secretary of state, these are criminal offenses. Also their records in drug trafficking while Bill Clinton was governor of Arkansas is covered up. Donald Trump is a successful entrepreneur who made a lot of money for himself while the Clinton’s have been stealing taxpayers money for their own enrichment through criminal offenses using their White House years to sell their position to the highest bidder. Whether it was good for the nation never played a role in the Clinton’s scheme. Even today the Clinton’s show their power in the Obama administration as we could see ‘ in the private e-mail case’ where both DoJ and FBI refuse to investigate these crimes endangering the USA including the murder of 4 Americans incl. the death of US Ambassador in Benghazi, Libya. And Bill Clinton escaped prosecution in the rape of under aged girls These are capital CRIMES for which people are sentenced to long prison sentences which the Clinton’s escape. It’s disgusting to see that Hillary Clinton is protected by Washington establishment to make a run for the White House.
    So far the US media has NOT been able to accuse Donald Trump of any such crimes or deaths/murders.It’s obvious that the MSM propaganda – representing the US and Washington establishment – play a dirty role by misinforming the public and even brainwashing the American voters. This looks more like a Banana Republic than a democracy it claims to be!

    • Zachary Smith
      October 2, 2016 at 11:53

      So far the US media has NOT been able to accuse Donald Trump of any such crimes or deaths/murders.

      It’s true that Trump’s ‘crimes’ are likely to be different from those of the Clintons. And I don’t know of any accusations of murder – yet.

      The fact remains that Trump is going out of his way to alienate US blacks in the same fashion that he has been slapping at other groups – the man isn’t serious about becoming President.

      At one time I thought Trump wouldn’t be as bad on certain issues, and that’s probably still the case. But I’m coming to think that if the White House is literally forced upon the man, he’d either promptly resign and thus create President Pence. OR, he’ll do what he reportedly offered to Kasich – give Pence the job of running Domestic and Foreign affairs and he (Trump) will work to Make America Great Again.

  20. John E. Reuter
    October 2, 2016 at 11:10

    Ugh. Why don’t all certifiable Caucasions line up and march into one or another of the oceans. West coast, East coast and Gulf coast assembly points to be arranged and supervised by her Highness Queen Hillary Clinton once esconced on the throne. Those remaining can then have at it. And, there will be granted absolutely no hardship deferments, pardons or other exceptions based on allegations of innocence by any such member of the designated class Caucasion. Dulce et decorum est . Pro patria mori.

    • Zachary Smith
      October 2, 2016 at 11:44

      Ugh. Why don’t all certifiable Caucasions line up and march into one or another of the oceans.

      After reading the essay, this is the best this fellow can say!


  21. Mark K
    October 2, 2016 at 10:45

    No one seems to make the connection with gun control: that the police fear an armed populace. Police, black and white, shoot when they think an armed person is not following instructions. Many criminals have guns.
    Police interact with poor far more than wealthy.
    Are they more likely to think a poor white’s cell phone is a pistol, than a poor blacks cell phone is a pistol?

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