Before Jeff Sessions was fired last week, he did one last terrible act to further dismantle Civil Rights gains minorities achieved during the fight for civil rights during the 50’s and 60’s as well as during Obama Administration. Mr. Magoo’s action was clearly an effort to undermine the few liberties and freedoms of minority communities in America who have been historically targeted by America’s Slave Catching Era law enforcement practices. It’s a sort of indirect White lash assault on Black and Brown people currently living in distress and under duress in the age of Trump
Jeff Sessions decided last Wednesday it was in “America’s” best interest to roll back Obama-Era federal oversight and required police reforms for state and local law enforcement agencies accused of and investigated for (and found guilty of) abusive practices.
The federal oversight ensured law enforcement entities accused of abuse made corrective actions and monitored state and local police departments until changes took hold which could be anywhere from 5 to 10 years sometimes.
Well, that’s no more.
With the signing of a memo, Jeff Sessions gave Trump’s DOJ the ability to close its eyes when citizens make allegations of police corruption and abuse. This means the police departments and law enforcement agencies under investigation or found guilty of practices and patterns of abuse like Ferguson , New Orleans, Baltimore, Chicago, Newark, Los Angeles, Seattle and other police departments (especially police departments in largely urban/Black areas) with histories of abusive policing practices towards Black people will no longer be required to comply with the comprehensive reform and re-training plans they entered into to avoid having their police departments taken over by the feds.
This means…no one is watching the police anymore, and that’s just how Sessions and his cronies like it. Jeff Sessions’ has a long history of supporting corrupt policing practices and White Nationalists terrorizing and abuse of Black communities, Alabama style. So while we shouldn’t be surprised, we should be alarmed at what this curtailing of police reform oversight means in the era of POTUS Trump.
The rolling back of police reform oversight means the Ferguson Police Department can go back to being the bullying law enforcement agency they were pre-Mike Brown’s death. The Baltimore Police Department can go back to being the brutal killers they were pre-Freddie Gray’s death. And the Los Angeles Police Department (who have never been free of corruption) can rest assured no one will monitor their long track record of brutal abuses dating back to Rodney King and even before that period. A lack of oversight will be deadly for Black people everywhere.
For example, even though a year-long investigation into the Chicago Police Department found rampant excessive force and civil rights abuses aimed at Black and Brown residents, the government has officially abandoned their reform concessions and any oversight efforts, meaning Black and Brown residents will continue to be abused by racist, scary and/or overzealous police. These people should expect more intimidation and harassment, immediately.
The bottom line is this nation has a history of police departments engaging in practices and patterns of abuse. Law enforcement agencies also have a history of hiring knowingly (and sometimes unknowingly) White Nationalists. The FBI has spent years investigating and monitoring White Nationalist infiltrations. Black people now have one more thing to worry about. Black lives are at risk, and we need to be prepared for the ramifications of Sessions’ memo. Police and People of Color already have a strained relationship. I expect the failure to monitor rogue polices will further stress these relationships.
Shit is about to get real in the field people.
Black Family, it’s time to have “The Talk” with your children. Black men, you should be prepared for more abuse and harassment. Black women (mothers, grandmothers, aunts, wives, partners, and daughters), we all should be ready to go to jailhouses, tell our seemingly uncompelling stories of how police brutality impacts us personally (yes, again), and perhaps even to bury some of our loved ones.
All minorities, especially Black people should be prepared for more police violence, ruthlessness, lawlessness, and more community power grabs. The basic civil rights of Black people are under siege.
So, while the media is talking about a damned caravan in Mexico that never came, a too little too late Blue Wave, or the petty dummy head POTUS not going to a cemetery on his trip to Paris to see his boyfriend Putin, right here at home our government is preparing to do harm to us. They already know most people in America will show up to the ally party too late if they show up at all. People being casually complacent and intermittently concerned got us here, which leaves us Black folks pretty much fending for ourselves.
It’s not a coincidence that three Black journalists have been disrespected in a week, or that a Black Board of Election’s Officer in Broward County Florida has been harassed and threatened. It’s not an accident that Michelle Obama has been reviled by Dookey Trump for comments in her book about Trump’s birtherism bullshit. Timing is everything with these people. Nothing is an accident.
This oversight rollback last week is yet another nail in the coffin of democracy, and a signal of the ever ripening evolution into American fascism. I hope you all are ready Black family. I hope you’re not being complacent thinking it’s not going to get bad for you, because it is honey. And I sincerely hope you don’t underestimate how quickly America is turning back into its pre-Civil Rights Era state. America is in the throes of a White is right authoritarian political movement. Their favorite targets, Black people, haven’t changed. Blacks will receive the brunt of the abuse as always.
If you think this is a game, you need to ask your parents and grandparents about what it was like living during segregation or post the Great Depression. Ask them how they feel about this present moment. This period in American history is like nothing we’ve experienced in our lifetime. They are working hard to make America great again. Great and safe for White people that is.
Civil Rights Era gains are being rolled back at lightning speed. Once taken away, there is no guarantee they will return in our lifetime. Black people all over the nation, regardless of their socioeconomic status need to be prepared for the fallout of such rollbacks. Those not impacted daily by such harmful retreats will be silent, or at least slow to action at best. It’s up to us to fight and protect Black people, our Civil Rights, and our communities.
If we don’t stand up all the time, no one else will. Beautiful Black lives really do matter, despite what this nation does to imply otherwise.
Be encouraged. Try to be inspired. Be wary. In all instances become more situationally aware. Be cautious and most importantly please be safe. These are truly dangerous times we are living in.
Since it is just the beginning, you may not see the impact of the rollbacks immediately, as the police may wait a bit before restarting their abusive practices. But don’t let nothing happening fool you. Racism and fascism have evolved into nearly every governmental system and in ways you could never imagine.
It’s going to be extremely important during these dark times for Black people to you READ more and listen to news and junk television less. History is repeating itself, right before your eyes. Don’t be fooled by information made to entertain instead of information made to education. Fascism creates its own reality. If you’re not paying attention to what’s happening today, you really will start to believe fake news, fake truths, and fake realities.
Black people cannot afford to believe other people’s realities, nor do we Black folks get the grace other ethnic groups receive when they go down the wrong path. Freedom has never been free, and Black people are going to quickly discover the price tag that comes with the little Black freedom our ancestors achieved. If you think you don’t have to fight anymore because you live in gated community, you have a degree and a job, a few bucks in the bank or you have a name brand purse, you are a fool. It’s only a matter of time before you see the manifestation of Trump’s America.
If you want someone to fight for you and your family when it’s your turn to battle, you must put in some work to earn the honor! Blanket trusting American institution’s no longer makes sense, nor is it safe for us. They are telling us loudly and clearly, we don’t matter. Just look at America’s Grand Wizard-in-Chief. He’s showing you every day, you don’t matter. You need to take the blinders off!
This is our new normal.
Learning to adapt to this new normal may save Black lives. Knowing what’s coming down the pipe is half the battle. You’ve been forewarned.
Marley K., 2018