So You Want to Talk About Race

So You Want to Talk About Race

Ijeoma Oluo

When looking at anti-black bias in police actions, we are looking at the product of police cultural history that has always viewed black Americans as adversaries, and of a popular culture that has always portrayed black Americans as violent criminals not worthy of protection. From our books, TV shows, and movies, to our crime focus on news programs—the narrative of the black brute is as strong now as it was when Birth of a Nation was released to wide acclaim in 1915. We hear this repeated in the language of our TV pundits and our politicians. Who will do something about this inner-city crime? Who will keep our streets safe from these thugs? Who will protect us from these super-predators? The belief that black people still need to be controlled by police is promoted by our politicians and funded by our taxpayers.

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