By Chauncey DeVega
In this age of police thuggery, it seems that almost every few days brings another video recorded incident of white-on-black police violence and excessive force. Last week a white police officer in Mckinney, Texas was recorded pulling out his gun and threatening a group of black teenagers at a pool party before throwing a young girl onto the cement as she cried for help. The officer has since resigned.
From the American founding to the South’s slave patrols and now in the age of Obama, there is a seemingly endless pile of black and brown bodies, the poor, disabled and mentally ill, who have been subjected to unjust legal violence by the State, as well as those it has gifted with the power of life and death (like George Zimmerman, empowered by “stand your ground” laws”).
Violence by the State, and those who are designated as having the power to dispense it, reveals a great deal about the nature of power in America. If the ability of the government to use violence against its citizens is a type of social control, then a society structured around maintaining white privilege and white supremacy — as well as class inequality — will use violence in an unequal way along the colorline (as well as against the poor and working classes en masse).