Jacob Blake and The Consequence of “Other-Ism”

Legendary emcee Hakim Green talks about Black people getting no benefit of the doubt with the cops.

“There’s a war going on outside nobody safe from…” – Prodigy from Mobb Deep

By Hakim Green

The truth about racism in America is it’s predicated on conquering the “wild savages “so that intruders can replace the original inhabitants. Dark-skinned people represent that which is to be conquered and subdued, which is why Chief Justice Rodger Taney, on March 6th, 1857, declared in the Dred Scott Ruling that black people had “no rights which a white man was bound to respect.” The higher court decided that Mr. Scott could not sue the system because he and all slaves, their ancestors where considered property, and therefore, had no legal right to challenge their oppressors.

This nation was built on the theft of Indigenous American land and African labor. To allow us to share in “justice and equality” is to admit the theft. To not always frame us as the suspected, the threat, the guilty is to allow us the dignity to claim our fair share, which limits that which can be stolen, whether that be private property or your self.

When we consider the tragedy of Jacob Blake, an unarmed Black man who was shot seven times in the back, in front of his small children, highlights the disparity that Black American’s aren’t afforded the same equal rights as our white neighbors. Secured by the overturning of The Dred Scott decision by way of the 13th and 14th amendments. That there would be an initial Dred Scott decision proves this nation was founded on subjugation of “the others.”

The contrast highlighted when we witness parallel cases; we see “white suspects” given “the benefit of the doubt” or just allowed their rights in what is sure of two America’s.

It’s not about training. It never is and never was. In America, the police are here to protect white people and white ownership. It is about the legacy of policing born of the Deep South as the natural progression from slave catchers and the Irish “Paddy Rollers” from where we get the term “Paddy Wagon.”

When do we ask how this could have happened to Jacob Blake? After witnessing George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery and in the aftermath of Breonna Taylor, how is there no change? I contend that it is the systematic programming of “other-ism.” It’s always the fault of “them” and “those people.” When that is the mentality of policing, equal justice under the law is an impossibility, and Jacob Blake can be any of us. 

Twitter, Facebook & Instagram: @hakimgreen