Response to Heather McDonald’s quote  

jeanette head shot

By: Jeannette Glen

“Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.”

— Salvor Hardin, Isaac Asimov’s character in Foundation.

          The author of “The War on Cops,” Heather McDonald said in an interview, “Police shootings of unarmed black men is not a national crisis. We have been having a discussion for the last 20 years of phantom police racism to not talk about a far more difficult and uncomfortable reality and that is the wildly disproportionate levels of black on black crime.”

I have a message for Heather and others like her; No one said black on black crime wasn’t an issue. We are simply saying that violence, on either side is not a solution! It’s not a solution for an outlet for your hate. It does not make an already escalating situation better, it only makes it worse. I don’t believe you gathered all the facts before beginning to form an opinion on such a complicated subject. You seem to believe that black people are screaming racism for every problem we may find ourselves in. But Racism, Sexism, Ageism, Classism, Homophobia, Xenophobia all fit together to divide and conquer or at least keep the status quo of those in power. Prejudice affects everyone and not in a good way. We aren’t fighting just to stop racism or violence. We are fighting to stop ignorance.

Reading your words brought to mind a quote by Mahatma Gandhi- “I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.” If we understood the use of peace instead of violence the way Gandhi did, maybe things would begin to shift, at least a little.

I am only 30 years old and I have personally witnessed racism in the police force. It seems to me in your book, you were implying that injustice and racism were outside the police force. I know what I saw and I know what I felt and it is not just a figment of my imagination because you say police racism is a phantom, not a reality. I am not attacking all cops. There are wonderful police who are honest and live to protect and serve, but just like in any other profession, there are also the bad apples. Darren Wilson has admitted in civil court that after his initial shot and miss, he shot Michael Brown 10 times as he was running away from him. When the profession is charged to protect, and serve, but the bad apples do not, it is a tragedy for everyone.



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