Paul R. Lehman, The criminal justice system must be replaced for justice to become a reality for all

September 25, 2016 at 1:34 pm | Posted in African American, American Bigotry, American history, Bigotry in America, black inferiority, blacks, Constitutional rights, criminal activity, democracy, Department of Justice, Disrespect, education, equality, Ethnicity in America, European American, fairness, justice, justice system, Killings in Tulsa, law enforcement agencies, Media and Race, Norm Stamper, Oklahoma, police force, Prejudice, protest, Race in America, skin color, skin complexion, social justice system, white supremacy, whites | 3 Comments
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By now most of America should realize that the continued shooting of African Americans and people of color by police officers is not just a random act of an inexperienced, untrained, misguided rookie cop. The plethora of excuses for the killings does little to avoid the conclusion that the problem is systemic—part of the culture of law enforcement nationwide. The idea of a few rogue cops committing these killings does not stand the test of validity for dismissing their actions as random while protecting the force. The fact of the matter that law enforcement culture views African Americans and people of color as the enemy or less valuable than European Americans is more than evident by the mere number of incidents that have occurred recently as well as historically.

Holding town hall meetings, public panel discussions, firing a few officers, hiring a few officers of color, making speeches and the like will do nothing in addressing the problem. The problem is the culture that views the African Americans and people of color as having less human and social value as the European American citizen. According to some former police officers, European Americans are conditioned to view African Americans with fear and trepidation. Norm Stamper has said that as an officer he experienced the fear that European American officers had for African American men. This cultural view is held by European Americans as part of their view of reality and normalcy in America, i.e. European Americans have been conditioned to not see their bigotry as a problem, but as the normal way to see society. Until they are able to see and understand that their view of reality is bigoted, the problem will persist.

The recent deaths of Terence Crutcher in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte, N.C. should serve as proof sufficient to underscore the charges African Americans and other people of color have made against the various police forces for many years. European Americans have been conditioned to view police and other law enforcers as public servants whose characters project honesty, truth, justice, loyalty, dedication and integrity, and certainly, many officers do project those qualities. What the African American community has been saying for years is that they are not viewed or treated by law enforcement the same as European Americans and therefore their relationships are not the same. Now that America and the world can witness via video just what happens in many of these cases, the call to replace the system and culture of criminal justice in America should be readily acceptable to all.

What we witness in Crutcher and Scott cases goes totally against the picture of law enforcement presented to the general public. The fact that the police not only lie about their actions but also create false reasons for their actions; these faults constitute deceit. The tacit of trying to find something considered socially unacceptable in the African American victim’s background to make him or her appear in a negative light is below contempt. The result is that the element of trust in law enforcement is no longer possible. We are not indicting all individuals who have taken the oath to serve and defend, but when time and again the result of any actions involving the killing of an African American with little or no repercussions for the officers, we have to ask, where is the justice?

The protests that we witness around the country are not against police officers, but the system and culture in which they work that discriminates against African Americans. These protests must continue and include more citizens of all ethnic identities, especially, European Americans. The media present most protest involving African Americans as an African American protest when in fact it is a protest by American citizens because the problems being underscored by the protestors are American made. All Americans should be affected by the videos of unarmed citizens being shot by police officers and the subsequent lack of appropriate justice for their acts.

The American criminal justice system must be replaced, not adjusted, expanded or tweaked because the core of the system would not be affected. The core in place presently views African Americans in a negative and uncomplimentary perspective, and because of that view, they are treated with a lack of respect. That view must be replaced with one that views all people as valuable human beings worthy of respect and deserving the protection and service given by law enforcement. To fully address the problem of injustice, European Americans must be educated to observe, speak, and behave in a way that includes them and all human beings in the family of mankind. In order to begin the process of replacement, all citizens must be educated to the fact that the concept and belief in a system of biological races is a myth, false, made-up. No one’s skin complexion gives him or her preferences of any nature over another human being, except by man-made laws. The protests today are focused on getting rid of those unjust laws.

The social conditioning received by European Americans relative to skin complexion has been so overwhelming that separating the fact from fiction is a monumental challenge. However, society is rapidly changing its demographic profile to the point that the social value of white versus black skins will have little to no value. Some Americans turn a blind eye and deaf ear to the protests now happening in society thinking that since only African Americans are involved that they are not affected by whatever the problems might be. They will learn that they are directly implicated in the problems and must become a part of the change or remain a part of the problem.

If Americans who view the videos showing the treatment of African American citizens by law enforcement  want to become involved in making positive change, they should not only voice their concerns to local authorizes but also seek out organizations and/or civic group where they can become active participants. If no such groups are readily available, they can start one to focus on the problems that need changing. Words without actions is just hot air


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  1. I wanna say that while I agree with roughly 85–90% of what Professor Lehman expresses on this site, and view Prof Lehman as a reasonable and very intelligent man, I have some issue/disagreement with the above. I do believe the Crutcher shooting was ridiculous and offensive to view. As a white male, believe it or not, I find it emotionally disturbing to watch on multiple levels. ALMOST more bothersome than the shooting, was 3 officers backing away from Mr. Crutcher, when it was obvious he was bleeding to death and already completely inanimate (i.e a non-threat). Also the way Shelby’s colleagues seem to babysit her and console her post-shooting as Crutcher lays dead in the road is also VERY disturbing and unsettling. I even believe there is a STRONG argument for murder charges, over and above the “manslaughter” charge.

    As to the Scott shooting, I think you’re dealing with another bag of apples. So far there is no video that gives any certainty Scott did OR did not have a gun. Secondly it has been made clear the the police department is standing firm by their position Scott was shot by a black officer. One assumes this officer has admitted as much, or the department would not be going with this version of events. It is also VERY DIFFICULT (albeit, YES, possible) to believe the Mayor and Chief of police stake their personal reputation on this version of events, when there could be unknown (and as yet unseen) video out in the general public which could strongly refute the police version of events, causing them great personal embarrassment along with the strong possibility of losing their jobs. Yes the “FOP” protects a lot of these “types”, but even Glanz lost his job, and even the Baltimore Chief had to step down. It DOES happen.

    The Charlotte protests ( I wouldn’t call them riots, but more a “hybrid” in-between a protest and a riot) were going strong (please correct me if I wrong on this) less than 18 hours after the shooting. Hardly enough time to come to a DEFINITIVE breakdown as to the ACTUAL FACTS of the shooting. I want to say, there were still images from a phone (I believe these may have come from a “Periscope” video) that have come from semi-respected journalists (local TV news) showing an image of a gun on the ground near to the occurence. A loved one of Scott’s sounds like she’s saying “don’t do it!!!” repeatedly addressing Scott. Don’t do WHAT?? Throw his copy of “Grapes of Wrath” at the policeman?? It’s not exactly a confidence inspiring declaration if you’re an officer on the scene.


  2. Good post. I wonder how many police officers are aware that the law they’re upholding worked against African Americans during slavery and Jim Crow. After 346 of upholding the law to our detriment, why wouldn’t the culture be so violent against us?


  3. Another good one, sir.


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