The Media's Misrepresentation of Police Brutality

August 27, 2016

During the first week of July, multiple shootings happened three days straight in three different states, and all of them involved police officers and black citizens. On July 7 in downtown Dallas, Texas, black citizens held a protest against police brutality after two recent shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. During the midst of the protest, a sniper wounded seven police officers and killed five. But if events happened the way the news said it did, then allow me to say that it was bound to happen at some point in time. If what happened in Dallas after two more black men were killed by police officers, then allow me to say that the chickens have come home to roost.

 

That phrase was originally stated by Malcolm X after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. He simply meant that whatever someone puts out into the world will eventually come back to them. America has put out evil across the globe, and especially here against its black and brown people. The violence you see here happens because America was established through violence. The American system planted the seeds of racism, exploitation, and violence hundreds of years ago.

 

At first during the shooting, the news reported that the shooters were white. Then they started reporting that there were five shooters, which later dropped down to three. Out of the three alleged shooters, two of them were males and one was a female. But the next day, it was reported that there was only one shooter and that police negotiated with him for several hours, and then sent in an electronically-controlled bomb to blow him up.

 

The only publicized images of the shooter were old selfies he took. But the image that isn’t often shown is that of him in his military uniform. He was a US soldier and was in the Army. We won’t see that photo too much because it paints the narrative that America is responsible because America trained him. America taught him how to kill a person from building tops, which brings me back to my original statement. If what they say about what happened in Dallas is true, then place the blame on the institutions designed by America, and not the individual.  

 

The shooter’s name was Micah Xavier Johnson, but it was often shortened to Micah X or Micah X Johnson. That is how Nation of Islam (NOI) members identify themselves. The NOI is group that was once lead by Elijah Muhammad during the 60’s which believed that Blacks should live separately from whites. The “X” represents the unknown last names of slaves who took the surname of their slave masters hundreds of years ago. Members of the NOI have been viewed as black Muslim extremists. So the news is already creating this image of fear by making his name sound scary. Alongside with his scary-sounding name, they put a picture of him standing in a random parking lot wearing a dashiki with his fist in the air, representing black power. So the image portrayed is that he was a radical, black extremist that wanted to kill off white police officers.

 

That’s the fear the mainstream media is feeding to the public. Mainstream news outlets want the masses to fear the Black Lives Matter Movement and other outspoken black people so that they can justify the brutality coming from police officers. They already do this well by getting the masses to condone police brutality because of the so-called violence that takes place in black communities. Not to say that crime within the black community doesn’t exist, but crime is not based on race. It is normal for people to commit crimes within their race because people commit crimes towards people they live closest to, but according to a lot of news outlets, black on black violence is a phenomenon.


The news paints the idea that all black people are thugs and drug dealers and that if anybody walking down the street gets harassed by the police then they deserved it. This tactic also brings division amongst black people because a lot of black people do not want to be associated with militancy. After the Dallas shooting, there were live TV press conferences of black elites, like Cleveland’s pastor C.J Matthews, apologizing on behalf of the black community for something that we didn’t even do.

 

Ever since the shooting in Dallas took place, America still isn’t taking notice to the black struggle. For weeks, the Dallas shooting took up all of the media’s spotlight. They don’t even talk about Alton Sterling anymore and how he was pinned down to the ground by two police officers and then shot to death the week before. They don’t even talk about Philando Castile anymore and how he was pulled over with his girlfriend and young child in the car, and was shot to death after trying to pull out his wallet. He had his gun on him and was a licensed gun owner, but the police didn’t care. His crime wasn’t having a broken taillight, it was being a black man with a gun, which he had a right to carry.

 

Now, after the deaths of five police officers, American politicians, law enforcement officers, and even so-called black leaders are saying that violence is not the answer. The black elitists who claim to be the voice for black people are on TV apologizing and saying that violence isn’t the answer. Violence was the answer when Trayvon Martin was walking back to his father’s house before he was stalked and killed by George Zimmerman. Violence was the answer when Mike Brown was shot dead in the street. Violence was the answer when Tamir Rice was playing at Cudell Park with a toy gun and the police decided to just jump out of their squad car and shoot him. Violence was the answer for New York police when Eric Garner no longer wanted to be harassed by them and they choked him out. I can go on and on with the names of Sandra Bland, Timothy Russell, Malissa Williams, and dozens more.

 

Why do police lives matter more than black lives? Blue lives matter more because law enforcement is a branch to the racial power structure that oppresses non-white people. Police officers don’t protect and serve poor people or black people. Law enforcement was designed to protect and serve the establishment. Law enforcement was never made to protect poor, black people, only to patrol them.

 

Policing isn’t about good cops, bad cops, black cops and white cops. Policing as an institution is racist, which is why police officers can get away with murders and brutality. They have a system that supports them that’s called racism. We black people who are for black liberation, who call ourselves militant are not against cops as individuals but we are against law enforcement. We are anti-police because law enforcement as an institution stands in the way of black liberation.

 

The very first form of police in this country were the overseers on plantations and the runaway slave patrols. After the Civil War, the Ku Klux Klan and white lynch mobs were a form of policing. Why is it that police officers can get away with killing black people? It is because the institution of law enforcement is designed to allow them to do so, and the mainstream media condones their actions. These killings are modern-day lynchings. As far as I’m concerned, police officers are slave catchers, the courthouse is the auction block, and prisons are the plantations.

 

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