Prof.: white law enforcement, jails are WMDs

Are law enforcement officers considered weapons of mass destruction? Dr. Lawrence Brown, an assistant professor in the School of Community Health and Policy at Morgan State University in Baltimore, thinks so.

On the heels of the Samuel Dubose shooting in Cincinnati, Brown penned an editorial for Salon. In the editorial, Brown stated, “White America, you’re killing us. Your law enforcement officers, your criminal justice systems, your jail cells are all weapons of mass destruction.”

Dr. Brown contends that “[b]ased on the legacy of 500 years of settler colonialism, land theft, war, slave trading, enslavement, broken treaties, reservations, segregation, the Trail of Tears, the 4,000+ lynchings between 1877 and 1950, and collective violence against Black communities, White America has built an edifice of violence in the psychology and culture of white police officers and correctional officers that continues to dehumanize indigenous and Black lives”.

The editorial, titled “You’re killing us, White America: How the Samuel DuBose murder exposes a system designed to destroy Black lives,” lists multiple recent minority deaths that occurred at the hands of police or while the subjects were in police custody, such as Samuel DuBose, Sandra Bland, and several others. Brown laments that the indictment of the officer responsible for killing DuBose was "not approached with a sense of real moral outrage, but one of expediency—to preemptively quell another [Cincinnati uprising]."

“If #AllLivesMattered, then White supremacy would be widely acknowledged, and White America would be working to repent for the legacies of violence against Black and indigenous populations,” Brown writes. “Instead, when state-sanctioned violence is exacted in America, hardly anyone in White America makes serious effort to seriously combat the racism that is part of its cultural and political DNA. Most of the time, the nation ignores it”.

At the end of the article, Brown asks the question, “White America, when are you going to lift the rock of white supremacy and stop allowing police to get away with murder?”

Brown, an assistant professor in the Dept. of Health Policy and Management, has written several articles for Salon, including an article following the Charleston shooting that declared “Black people in America are under a sustained and lethal terrorist attack” and “there is no place Black folk are safe from the police use of excessive force or guns of a white supremacist assassin”.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @ChrisNuelle