If you’ve heard the speech made by Dallas Police Chief David Brown in the wake of the murders of officers there last week, you probably have some feelings about it… and maybe some questions. His speech is being shared far and wide by the All Lives Matter crowd in an effort to further attempt to discredit the Black Lives Matter movement, and there are definite problems with this.
While Brown himself is black, a fact that’s being mentioned often by the All Lives Matter camp as evidence that he speaks for all people of color, the police chief’s speech perpetuates racist tropes and refuses to take responsibility for problems he and all police could help solve.
So in case you need a recap, here’s why Dallas PD Chief David Brown’s speech is a problem in regard to police brutality, racism and the current political climate in the United States. Yes, even though he’s black.
1. He assumes protesters don’t have jobs
With a single phrase — “we’re hiring” — Dallas Police Department Chief David Brown used an age-old racist adage. It is not a new cheap shot to insinuate that protesters are lazy and do not have jobs. This is, in part, dog whistle-coded language to say that black people are lazy.
2. We still haven’t readily identified that police brutality is a police problem
Chief David Brown said that the police are being asked to do too much, and “that’s too much to ask. Policing was never meant to solve all those problems” … “Don’t put that burden all on law enforcement to solve.” While I understand and am glad he understands the limits of his profession within the confines of American society, police brutality is 100 percent a police problem.
3. He positions murders of police officers as the “real” or more important problem
While this instance was tragic and the largest targeting of cops since 9/11, murders of police are far fewer than those of unarmed civilians shot by police. Additionally, death is an occupational hazard one knows they may encounter when they sign up to be a police officer.
4. Yes, the comments are still problematic even though he is a black man
While the killing of unarmed civilians affects Americans of all races, it affects Native Americans and African-Americans at the highest rate.
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