Smell the Rot

Smell The Rot

Jan 8, 2020


Across the nation this past summer of 2020, through a variety of hashtags of #defund #abolish #eliminate or #reallocate, the call was clear:


•recognize that modern-day law enforcement and policing was borne from the brutal act of trafficking enslaved Africans (policing Black bodies), down to the design of the badges.


•recognize that in America, public safety and policing is shaped by White Supremacy Ideology: safety, policing, and even the relationship with police looks VERY different in White Communities than in Black/Brown communities because of the way law enforcement sees and treats these communities.


•understand that since President Ronald Reagan greenlit this defund approach, governments have defunded social services, grants and other programs that were proven to help communities and their residents thrive, and in turn, put those resources into the militarization of local law enforcement and police.


•...And the call was that we have to reimagine what safe, healthy and thriving communities look like from the perspective and vision of the people that live in those communities.


•We want to center the wellbeing and dignity of Black, Indigenous, and Latinx communities to where they have full freedom and agency over their own bodies and movement in their own communities and access to resources that equitably mirrors all (White) communities.


It was clear watching the videos of the Summer 2020 BLM protests, and the insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6th, 2021, that law enforcement doesn’t (usually) treat Black people with the same level of dignity and respect they show White People. This has borne out consistently by results of research, media audits, and Implicit Bias studies I have read on police departments.


And after following the Chicago Police Department’s Facebook page this summer as part of my own study on policing and white supremacy ideology, I can say I am not surprised at the boldness of their leader’s response to the Trump Supporter-led Capitol riot and insurrection. He is a major Trump supporter himself.


His words offer a stark contrast to his, and the Order’s, position on the protests pleading for Black Lives to matter.


Here’s a thread I made by @ChipMitchell1 who interviewed the president of Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police lodge, John Catanzara. Long story short: he felt that Capitol rioters were upset and had the right to express themselves. https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1347207462097715200.html


Catanzara did not say that Summer 2020 about the angry people protesting the police officers that murdered George Floyd.


Black people have been SHOUTING about the infiltration of White Supremacy Ideology in our police departments for 100 years. It didn’t end at the bridge in Selma when the cops beat John Lewis in the head. The people and the ideology proliferated.


The FBI has data on this, too.


White America, the media, and most of Congress are just starting to smell the stench: we, Black America, have smelled the rot for generations.

Update on 1/9: after public outcry & backlash, as always happens, Catanzara apologizes for supporting the 1/6 Insurrection. But we cannot forget these are his words and beliefs as a leader in law enforcement, and his ability to serve all people is called into question.




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