To Protect and Serve

Trump gave a speech on law and order a week or so ago.  Apparently, there’s no problem at all with culturally systemic racism in any of our roughly eighteen thousand police departments.  Apparently, the problem is a war on police led by the president.


This coming from a man who boasted he could prove the president isn’t a citizen.  A man who said “There’s my African American” about the only black male in a sea of white on a campaign stop.

There were fewer police killed under Obama’s administration than any two term president in our lifetime.

The killing of twelve year old  Tamir Rice in Cleveland Ohio. A cop that should should never have been allowed to carry a badge or a gun killed a boy with a toy gun within less than three seconds of rolling up.


A cop in Ferguson Missouri empties his entire clip into an unarmed teenager from a distance, without any knowledge he committed any crime other than jaywalking.  The culturally systemic record of racism for this municipality extracting revenue from it’s poorest and blackest is appalling.  The DOJ’s report was as explicit as it was scathing.


Dashcam video of Laquan McDonald, walking away, not even running, unarmed, shot sixteen times in the back even after he fell to the ground by an officer on scene for less than thirty seconds in Chicago.  Surrounded by other cops. It took a year for the video to be released and charges to be filed.


I could go on and on and on.

So far, no convictions for murder.

There are shitty cops.

Way too much of this now on video to arrive at any conclusion other than we have a systemic problem inside the culture of too many of eighteen thousand American police departments.

There’s no video of Catholic priests raping children but most of us realize it’s huge goddamn problem.

Black people are pissed and scared and white people are scared and pissed and this is why. Jackasses like Trump shamelessly exploit the systemic culture of racism within most of our police departments that once made white people great.

White people have never been great.

Minorities all over this country aren’t afforded the benefit of the doubt by police yet it was never predicated on that benefit of doubt being afforded to police by the citizenry. See, cops are necessarily supposed to be above that shit. It sucks but it’s clearly part of the job description.

A requisite.

Criminals are inherently shitty.

The militarization is fucking spooky. Police are supposed to do the best they can to make people feel safe as opposed to threatened. What I see is cops festooned with firepower lethal enough to take out an entire town, confronting unarmed American protesters. We are still at a point where it’s irresponsible to trust a cop if you’re brown or black in any metropolitan area of America and more so in rural ones.

This isn’t a binary issue. For or against cops. Innocent people are being murdered by cops.

Violent crime in America is at an historic low, but we’ve got more people in jail than ever.  Disproportionately black or brown men. A robust for profit prison industry with a voracious appetite.

Just about all violent crime against white people is committed by white people.  Just about all violent crime committed by black and brown people is against black or brown people. They aren’t interested in fucking with white people because  the hammer of law enforcement that never ends up in their favor.


We have one candidate who exploits that fear and one who helped create it.

There will never be justice for white men in America until there is justice for black men.  As long as the traditional role for police in America is to protect and serve the elites and the wealthy,  white men will be sucked into this more and more because class warfare has assimilated race warfare.

Sooner rather than later, unarmed white men will start getting shot and eventually it will be Vietnam all over again.

The war will end.

Drinks for my friends.

*The second offering from Rat Bat Blue.  It’s appropriate in a non sequitur kind of way.  If you listen to this on cheesy computer speakers, you’re doing yourself a disservice  because the bass guitar is more than relevant.  It’s a pop song with blistering jazz chops and that’s how I fell in love with this band.  They could fucking play and by the way, the drummer is a chick.  I know that sounds sexist but fuck you because you assumed she’s a dude automatically.  The song exemplifies musical discretion.  Restraint.  There is no virtuosity for the sake thereof here.  They respected the silence between the notes as much as the notes they played.   It was this band that afforded me the time and patience to make it sound like it did in my head.  I never charged them a dime but occasionally there was a wad of bills on the console at the end of the gig.  I am grateful.*




9 Responses to “To Protect and Serve”

  • Jeffrey Casey:

    One of your best my pale faced friend.

  • Cathy Rouse Page:

    You nailed it. None of us are free, until all of us are free.
    I am sickened by the people who assume that the dead black man in the dirt *must* have been guilty of something, so killing him was justified.
    The for profit prison industry is legalized slavery. The board of directors of these companies base profit projections on recidivism rates. Under the Jim Crow laws in the south, black men were jailed for being in the wrong part of town. Many disappeared, and were never heard from again.
    I saw the whites only signs in the segregated south I grew up in. I witnessed what had passed as Separate, but Equal, in the educational opportunities. It wasn’t.

    We have a new form of Separate, but Equal, in the way states fund public education, based on property tax. Cleverly disguised as budget issues, poor children are shortchanged in the allocation of educational funds. This is but one of the examples of what you refer to as class warfare.

  • Teresa Lee:

    Once again Michael, you nailed it! Many years ago, I was entering the 6th out of 7 levels to enter into the LAPD Academy and when asked by so many of my friends why I’d want to get involved in such a corrupt establishment, my only response was that I wanted to make a difference.

  • G.a. Underwood:

    I sure enjoyed this article, Mr. Douglass! I only wish more people felt the same way.

    Just rambling thoughts…I think it began with the media bestowing a false legitimacy to the Tea Party’s anti-science, anti-factual crowd. (“Okay, we’ve heard enough from Professor Brian Cox, English physicist and Advanced Fellow of particle physics in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Manchester. Now let’s turn to Billy Bob, who has proof that the Earth is flat and Sally Sue, who found a picture of Mohammed inside her dog’s ear!”) The media embraced their power over the ignorant many as they watched throngs of the lesser-blessed parade their ugliest, gun-loving, closeted homophobic narcissists wild cheering Trump on social media and in the streets and arenas.

    Republicans, seeking quantity over quality, invited the Tea people into their fold because – whether the issue was one of:
    * guns
    * god
    * LGBTQ
    * xenophobia
    * hatred of Muslims and Jews
    * denying women contraception
    * reclassifying rape to blame its victims
    * excusing incest (when the offender is pardoned by Huckabee)
    * hatred of our black President, Obamacare (originally a derisive term in itself), overt public racism and hatred of anything non-white

    ALL these are common values shared by the two groups.

    We’re force-fed premanufactured stories by the conservative media that masquerade as news but are solely intended to legitimize and reinforce the racism, xenophobia and misogyny that the one-percent need to succeed, that unites the wealthy corporate wheels with the dull and moronic ‘patriots’ who have far too personal relationships with their guns and camo vests. Unwitting tools loving their country, but hating foreigners – though few have traveled beyond our own borders. Loving their own ‘freedom’, but hating other Americans’ freedoms. Loving their Social Security, food stamps and the Affordable Care Act, but hating the federal government, entitlements and Obamacare.

    Corporate CEOs, these one-percenters, need their largely poor, uneducated party counterparts to remain afraid, angry and uninformed if Trump is to win their election. Racism, misogyny, hatred of Muslims is music to their ears and money in the bank. It’s the promise of continuing the status quo. As throngs of the lesser-blessed drag their ugliest demons out to cheers on social media and the streets, Fox ‘News’ and Breitbart’s lies create ‘justification’ for waving the American flag to shield blue-uniformed (or combat-prepped) murderers, creating sufficient doubt for those white viewers who’d never experienced systemic racism. They hide the cold, lifeless bodies of innocents shot down in the streets, beaten and/or murdered in cold blood inside their homes before their children and in the back seats of police cars while handcuffed. (“He might’ve been armed – we just didn’t know!” “I was in fear of my life!”) Sleeping babies are flash-bombed in their cribs in the middle of the night. (“There were rumors of marijuana in the home!”) “Stop resisting!” is now both their battle cry and their automatic defense, and the only problem the fortunate privileged identify is the possibility of a few “bad apples” among a nation of 100% professional law enforcement officers.

    The problems with our policing are multilevel, and were exacerbated when G.W. Bush rode the ‘PATRIOT Act’ roughshod over our Constitution. Then the media and the GOP expanded victim-blaming from being only a gender-cited cause (“She was asking for it”) to now include ethnicity and religion. If the victim was not white or non-Christian, what were they doing that caused the officer to tase/shoot them? It’s the same reasoning with a broader range.

    So long as those at the top keep protecting the criminals they’ve employed…
    and police can change jobs within law enforcement where past transgressions are ignored…
    and whistleblowers are troublemakers to be punished rather than appreciated…
    when taxpayers pay the bulk of police/city fines and fees (including defense attorneys’ fees) and secret closed settlements to shattered families,
    WHY should police EVER change?

    There is absolutely no motivation, is there?

  • Pam Veselinovic:

    True. White people have never been great. Not as a whole, anyway. Some individuals, of course.

  • reiya:

    spot on, good analysis well stated Michael.

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