There is a policing presumption, conscious in some; not so in others; that Black citizens should accept having our safety concerns ignored or ritually explained away as insignificant. I’ve body slammed this attitude for decades as a safety advocate who happens to be Black and living in urban areas held hostage by crime.
This concern, being Black and actually wanting police to arrest suspects, especially runs afoul of the current narrative that any enforcement action is akin to latter day slave patrols on a plantation or 21st century versions of the Emmett Till lynching.
Black Lives Matter and compliant government leaders, unintentionally or otherwise, have essentially reduced many municipal departments to becoming spectators of the violence and disorder ironically making inner cities free fire zones for homegrown goons and gangs, not invading insurgents from distant suburbs and Alt Right groups. Conversely, I understand historic concerns regarding officers criminalizing Black citizens for simply venturing outside their homes. As a Generation X brother, I experienced Jim Crow influenced policing in my southeast Georgia hometown. I also experienced the destruction of stable Black communities when the Crack Cocaine Era began.
However, crisis level crime and disorder in the Post Crack Cocaine Era Black community place a strategic premium on Black voices who oppose it. Otherwise, as I always warn and frankly welcome, military solutions ( long term National Guard deployment ) become the only solutions.
Against this dire backdrop, police executives and officers who dismiss concerns and evidence of Black safety advocates and concerned citizens doom not just these people to severe absence of basic safety, but also endanger officers working in these communities. When it’s common knowledge that complaints are ignored and calls for service go unanswered, career criminals control those areas-period. And areas career criminals control aren’t idyllic AfroFuturist oasis like Wakanda in the recent Black Panther movie. Far from it.
Second class safety, where police departments ignore or downgrade urban calls for service, isn’t safe at all… for these communities and cops alike.
Safety creating Black Lives matter, too.
Nadra Enzi aka Cap Black is a safety advocate in the real life Gotham City of New Orleans.