Yesterday marked the 20th Anniversary of the infamous LA Riots, when fires spread all over South Central. The riots thrust America into a state of unrest because thousands of people took to the streets in protest of the acquittal of four Los Angeles Police Department officers, who were on trial for beating black motorist Rodney King damn near to death after a high-speed chase. Today is a good time as any to ask ourselves what we learned from that unjust ass-whooping and the outrage that followed, especially considering many people feel that the Trayvon Martin murder case could elicit the same kind of outrage if the 17-year-old’s killer, George Zimmerman, walks.
Unfortunately when people talk about rioting in relation to these incidents, they often ignore the dysfunctional aspects of our institutions that spurned them on. Riots, like what happened after the officers that went upside King’s head with 56 baton blows were acquitted and what could happen if Zimmerman gets off, don’t erupt in a vacuum. They explode in response to ill racist shit—the kind of shit that allows an assailant to walk away from the scene of the crime, after murdering a 17-year-old boy, and avert getting an official charge for weeks. Solely focusing on the consequences (riots) and not discussing catalysts (racism) is just foolish.
The fact of the matter is that in America today racists are terrorists. They employ hate as a political weapon, using religion to mask their activities. They use calculated violence against civilians in order to attain goals that are political, religious, or ideological in nature—this is done through intimidation, coercion, and instilling fear. Throughout history in the U.S. there have always been racists operating within law enforcement and the judicial branches of government. These self-interested racists who engorge themselves on our hard-earned tax dollars are the root of all evil in America. The positions they hold are the foundation, the first line of defense for a civilized society. And if the people who are making the laws and supposed to be enforcing them aren’t right, how can the people who they represent be expected to sit still?
As flawed and corrupt as the system is, we need cops and laws. Otherwise we would have anarchy. What we have to do is figure out a way to eliminate the bad apples that discriminate, hate, and put a strain on race relations in our country. I’ve given this a lot of thought. Here is my bold (and controversial) proposal, but I think it’ll work.
WILLIE D’S PLAN
Anybody who wants to work in law enforcement or the judicial system should have their backgrounds thoroughly checked for acts of racism. Random drug testing would be a good idea, too. Authorities in both the King and Martin case made a big deal out of testing the victims for drugs. They were hoping to prove that both were doped up, but in each case the toxicology reports came back negative. If you’re going to be arresting people, judging, and locking them up for using drugs, the public needs to be sure you aren’t a junkie yourself.
Can you imagine how many cops have gotten away with cold-blooded murder by simply saying “I thought he had a gun” or “I feared for my life”? We can either allow civilians to have the right to use that same lame ass excuse, wait until the time comes when the people randomly start busting back, or implement a law that says any cop accused of beating or murdering someone shall automatically be suspended without pay and all cases shall be investigated and if need be prosecuted. No more automatically taking a cop’s word.
If a cop is found to be guilty of violating someone’s civil rights, they should receive the same punishment that someone gets for assaulting or murdering a policemen—that includes death. Cops who tell on other cops should be rewarded. The same way they give civilian snitches money, lighter sentences, and immunity. We should give rat cops compensation like vacations, bonuses, promotions, and protection from retribution.
Each Grand Jury shall be divided along racial lines. No more all white or predominantly white juries judging non-white defendants. Prosecutors and judges should be audited the same way companies and individuals are, by an independent citizens group who will sift through their cases to determine their validity and reliability. But instead of looking for financial discrepancies, they’ll look for racial discrepancies to make sure they aren’t disproportionately sticking it to the brothers and the vatos.
The powers that be and the puppets they control will fight me on this. But if you the people stand with me in solidarity, we will not only defeat them but we will destroy them. And America will be in a lot better shape than it was when we got here.
Willie D is a member of the legendary rap group the Geto Boys.
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