Some people are making the whole police brutality crisis in the US look like it’s only a race problem, and I’m sorry but it’s not just a race problem. Racism is just a small part of the problem.
People will go out to the streets to protest and will actively complain about it, but won’t conjure up a solution or figure out the origin of the issue — which is the first thing you do when you try to solve a problem.
In my opinion, there are a few other things that are important and need to be pointed out, besides the obvious racism.
The real problem here is that the police kill more than one thousand people every year in the United States. In the first 24 days of 2015, there were 59 fatal police shootings in the US, while in England & Wales together there have been 55 fatal police shootings in the last 24 years.
1: Racism: These images below show the number of deaths caused by the police in the US during last year and this year so far.
As you can see, white victims almost double the black ones in both graphics so I wouldn’t say it’s just a problem or strictly racism even though in some cases it can be pretty clear that it is. Sad truth is that there’s racism everywhere and in every race. White people who hate black people, latinos who hate white people, black people who hate white people etc. So, yes, some cops are racists but not every case of police brutality is motivated by race. Let’s assume this is just part of the problem. What else influences?
2: Generalization: It’s a problem attached to racism, too. In all forms of discrimination, whether we’re talking about racism, sexism, homophobia etc, the problem is the same: generalization. People will hate a whole race or gender for something a single person has done and even for no reason at all. Like, your girlfriend cheats on you – so you hate women, or you boyfriend hits you – so you hate men. The same can be applied with race, ethnicity, and general background divisions. It happens when people start saying things like, “all cops are bastards.” When you do that, you’re doing the same exact thing that you’re complaining about.
Police brutality is like religious fundamentalism. Of all the people who practice a religion, typically only around 2-7% are violent or fundamentalist, but their actions are so loud that you extrapolate it to the whole collective and decide that the whole religion is violent. The same can be applied to cops.
3: Nationalism: Being patriotic is perfectly fine. It’s nice to know that you feel you belong somewhere or are part of a collective. But thinking that your country is the best, that everything you do is awesome… this leads to negative places. There are thousands of countries that could teach you something, but only if you have the humbleness to acknowledge that you might not be the best and are willing to look at how other people solved the problems you face before you even had these problems.
4: Definition of Crime: Filling prisons with people who smoke weed or commit minor offenses is reprehensible. You need to educate people and make them feel responsible for their actions, not just throw them into jail for these kinds of crimes while you leave people outside who are potentially more harmful than an average drug user.
5: Inequality: A person should be able to own a house working two jobs, or even working just one. And if you don’t want crime, you need equality. When someone has more than they should and others don’t have enough, that’s when people become desperate and have to commit crimes. Dubai is a bad example because the criminals are in the government — but they have no crime because everyone is rich there. As a matter of fact, actually, you’re not allowed to live there if you don’t have a job. Which, keep in mind, is an extreme case and I don’t think everyone should be rich, but I do think if we made sure everyone had enough and money was used for better investments than wars (like education, health care, etc.) people would be happier and crime rates would go down quickly.
6: Paranoia and the 2nd Amendment: No constitution is sacred. It was written by humans, it can be fixed by humans. The 2nd amendment means, that in the eyes of the police, every citizen is a potential gun owner. Legal or illegal. They are so easily accessible. Now, I don’t want to defend the cops but if you find yourself in their position, that would make you a bit paranoid, too.
If you want this police brutality problem solved but you don’t want the 2nd amendment to be changed, then you don’t want this problem solved. I feel the amendment has caused more deaths than it has saved.
Gun regulation is a must. Just look at it this way… Cars are potentially harmful if you don’t use them properly. If you drive too fast, if you drive under the influence, you can cause yours or someone else’s death. That’s why you’re required a license to drive. You have to be taught how to use it properly and safely. You need to wear a seatbelt. There are speed limits. So many regulations… The same should be applied to guns, and for a more important reason. Cars have a purpose, even though they can be dangerous, they are here to take you from one place to another faster, but guns? They only have one purpose and it’s not to protect, it’s to harm.
You’ll notice how some people will still defend the 2nd amendment after all this, that’s because guns in America are not a right, they are a business, and if they defend the 2nd amendment it is because they are afraid of the money they’d lose. If the police are supposed to protect, their weaponry will always be bigger than that of the population, so if you want to demilitarize the police, you should start by not giving them reasons to carry guns bigger than yours. If you buy guns for recreational purposes, then you don’t need real ammunition either. Go play paintball, instead. It’s more fun, and it’s safer and will relieve the tension that comes with having an itchy trigger finger.
These things will not be solved in a day. But either America starts changing things for the better, or I don’t know how long it’ll be until this snowball is too big to be stopped.
Bio: Joel Amat Güell (born Joel Amat Güell) is not an academy award winning writer, instead he just draws things for a a living. He has designed t-shirts and a huge range of apparel for a lot of clothing companies you’ve probably never heard of and for some others that you probably have.
He has also illustrated comics, colored comics and even read some comics. He has done other stuff too.