Why Systemic Racism in the Police Department is a call to focus on Black Families
By Rachel Miller-Bradshaw
As people of color in this country it is really time for us to construct an organized national agenda. The deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Sean Bell and other black males by the hands of police officers coming to the light, it appears that the national agenda might be systemic racism within the police department towards black males in particular. I don’t think this should be our national agenda.
I’m pushing for getting the Black Family together and here’s why. I was shocked when I heard that half a million dollars was raised in a crowd funding campaign for Officer Darren Wilson. Now that is organization and a community coming together to protect and support one of its own. Strong families are the premise of strong communities. Where is the Black community’s organized initiative to support the Brown Family, the Martin Family, and the Garner etc.? What's the strategy to push our national cause to Congress?
We always look to see what Reverend Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson is going to do while the youth, myself included, take to social media, which really produces no results.
I was listening to Troi “Star” Torain’s show “Stop the Police” a few days ago and he factually stated that there is no “Black Community”. “If we do not own the local bank, credit union or supermarket in the neighborhood, we just live there.” I wish we would really get this. I think this is why the police and other institutions feel they can treat us the way they do.
I look at all of the young men protesting in Ferguson and I can’t help but feel like their fathers should be guiding them on more effective ways to deal with how they are treated by the police and their overall feelings of disenfranchisement in American society. But most of these young men most likely don’t have their fathers in their lives, which continue a pattern of instability, misplaced anger, and lack of guidance. This is why stores and churches, some black owned, are being destroyed in Ferguson. We have to understand that we are going back to these same communities to live.
I am not trying to steer attention away from the many black males that are killed or mistreated by the police but I am merely saying that the Black community in America has a lot of other problems to honestly face. This is the time to tackle all aggressively! I definitely believe that Hip Hop music needs a total lyrical overhaul. Many artists out now like Rick Ross, Lil Wayne and Nikki Minaj lyrics do nothing to motivate our people to be modern day freedom fighters and innovators.
Looting, social media, and protesting is not the way to enact change! We've done this many times before. It's not working for us. I am totally a grassroots philosopher starting with family structure. I believe black mothers and fathers together in stable households must raise our young men and women to be positive leaders and upstanding citizens. My documentary "On My Own" made me realize that fathers and traditional families are so important to our community's future and our movement to attain equal human rights in America.