Stop acting surprised. Everything Michelle Alexander wrote about in 2010 in The New Jim Crow was re-stated yet again today by Attorney General Eric Holder.
The only question that should have been asked of Holder today was: Why didn’t you disband the Ferguson Police Department. If they’re so bad why not disband them? Just as absolutely no one is surprised Darren Wilson will pay no price for shooting Michael Brown eight times, no one is surprised that Holder is re-stating what has been stated over and over for decades regarding the treatment of Blacks by police.
“Amid a highly toxic environment, defined by mistrust and resentment, stoked by years of bad feelings, and spurred by illegal and misguided practices it is not difficult to imagine how a single tragic incident set off the city of Ferguson like a powder keg,” Holder said at a press conference he took no questions at.
A report on the Ferguson Police by DOJ reports that police routinely discriminates against Blacks. The discrimination impacts, “nearly every aspect of Ferguson police and court operations.” Fear of police is well founded — which is nothing new for anyone paying attention.
The same stats indicating that police were targeting African American could be seen in stop-and-frisk data over a ten year period by the New York City Police Department. Surprise! Police stopped over 300,000 innocent Black New Yorkers in one year alone.
“The disturbing findings in this report demand urgent remedies which must be swiftly implemented without obstruction or delay, and without further denials of the painful and undeniable facts,” said Rep. Lacy Clay (D-MO) who represents Ferguson, today in a statement.
“The tragedy of Mike Brown’s unnecessary death, along with the police killings of Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and others … have illuminated a system of local law enforcement and criminal justice that in too many cases, does not provide equal justice under the law to persons of color in this country,” Clay added.
As usual with these issues it’s not enough to state the problem over and over again. The solution and the strategies to change the game is where the focus must go if real change is going to happen.