Editorial: Misplaced Blame

Editorial: Misplaced Blame
December 29
00:00 2014

The recent senseless innocent murder of two New York City police officers, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, is a national tragedy, which warrants mourning and sympathy by all.

All life is sacred and has dignity and worth, including both the police and civilians. Neither the police nor the community should attempt to exploit this tragic incident to their own political advantage.

Yet, we have seen in recent days how many police unions such as The Patrolman’s Benevolent Association have disingenuously and recklessly blamed the cause of the murders on the millions of legitimate peaceful protestors across America. The Sergeant’s Benevolent Association has added, “The blood of two executed police officers is on the hands of (NYC) Mayor de Blasio.” The former governor of New York (George Pataki) accused Attorney General Eric Holder and the Mayor’s anti-police rhetoric for these “barbaric acts.”

This kind of subterfuge and psychological projective identification by the police unions is nothing short of a cheap way of displacing blame. The police do not want to take responsibility to address the legitimate claims of the people. Politically, they are trying to turn public opinion against peaceful protestors who are struggling for legitimate and progressive change within the judicial system. Within the police psyche, there is nothing wrong with killing innocent unarmed black youth. They have not expressed any empathy or regret for taking innocent life. After all, blacks are not human, but perceived as “demons,” the “Hulk,” “beasts,” “hoodies” “suspicious,” and “strange,” terms which represent institutionalized racism.

The truth is the police are not under attack; it is predominantly young black males that are being killed. The protesters are demonstrating against the continued systemic violence perpetrated by abuse of the justice system, the misconduct of the police and terrorist vigilante murders by people like George Zimmerman, which resulted in the senseless murders of Michael Brown with his hands raised; Tamir Rice while playing in a park; Eric Garner saying “I can’t breathe,” John Crawford while looking at a rifle in Walmart; and Trayvon Martin eating Skittles on his way home.

Ismaaiyl Brinsley, who killed the two officers and then later took his own life, was not a political activist. He probably never participated in a demonstration for any just cause in his life. He had a long record of arrests. He shot his own girlfriend earlier. He was already on the edge. He was a very disturbed man in need of mental health.

There is a need to invest more money in mental health to be able to identify, evaluate, counsel, and treat violent people who show tendencies of endangering others.

Engaging in displaced blame is no way to honor the two slain officers. Only by pursuing justice and standing up for the truth will create positive and progressive change happen.

Dr. John Mendez, Guest Columnist

Dr. John Mendez,
Guest Columnist

Civil rights advocate Dr. John Mendez is pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church.

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