Indeed, there was a time in America when Blacks were considered “three-fifths of a person,” but it seems that that evaluation has now been totally relegated to zero.
Let our history recall that on 6 March 1857, Chief Justice Roger Taney delivered/issued this ultimate, infamous, racist ruling in the Dred Scott v Sanford case to the extent that Blacks were “beings of an inferior order and altogether unfit to associate with the white race either in social and political relations; and so far inferior, that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect and that the negro might justify and lawfully be reduced to slaves for his benefit. He was bought and sold and treated as an ordinary article of merchandise and traffic whenever a profit could be made by it.”
Indeed, the historical statistical record reveals that “Black people who account for 13 per cent of the US population, accounted for 27 percent of those fatally shot and killed by police in 2021.” This gruesome reality validates the long-held truism that “Black people are twice as likely as Whites to be shot by police officers.”
In addition, as the 1968 Kerner Commission Report concluded on violence in American cities in 1967: “Our nation is moving toward two societies, One Black, One White-Separate and Unequal.” The Commission also warned that “unless conditions were remedied, … the country faced a ‘system of apartheid. ’”
Moreover, it is also compelling to recall that way back then, the Commission observed that “the abrasive relationship between the police and the minority communities has been a major and explosive source of grievance, tension and disorder.” Ergo, it need occasion no great surprise that this real tension between these two entities has only escalated to the zenith degree today in overt violent, brutal murderous manifestations.
For whereas slogans such a “Racial Profiling”, “Driving While Black”, and “Black Lives Matter” have gained much national currency and support, today’s murder of any young African American male must force/compel African-Americans to take our existence in America to the zenith level and announce to the entire world that Living While Black In America maybe anathema to our health.
It seems obvious that the “police culture” of brutality and absolutely no respect/regard for Black life is the accepted modus operandi, and it does not really matter whether that police officer is White or Black, period.
The subconscious mind-set is the same. And as Dr. Frantz Fanon correctly elucidates in his magnum opus titled “Black Skin, White Masks (1967): “ The Black man wants to be like the White man. For the Black man there is only one destiny. And it is White. Long ago the Black admitted the unarguable superiority of the White and all his efforts are aimed at achieving a White existence” and similar anti-Black policing methods in America.
Ipso facto, it doesn’t matter whether the police officer is Black or White, as long as you’re a Black person living in America today, then, police violence/ brutality is in your face, up close and very personal.
Truth Be Told: The ultimate stark reality is that Living while Black in America ensures that one is automatically not only subjected to, but most importantly, the overt victim/target of selective political prosecution/persecution as manifested in the epic injustice reality that 43 Republican-controlled legislatures have passed repressive/draconian laws to prevent African Americans from exercising their constitutional right to vote.
Indeed, it is at this juncture that the crucial/vital question rushes to the fore, and that is, why are White Americans diagnosed with mental illness when they shoot and kill innocent/unarmed African Americans? In reality, should not centuries-old covert, systemic, institutionalized racism be diagnosed as the principled, undisputed de jure culprit?
The prosecution rests.
Dr. Kwame Nantambu
Professor Emeritus kl
Kent State University
Pan American Studies
Editor’s Note: The views expressed in this commentary piece do not necessarily the express the opinions of The Cincinnati Herald.