Greenfield: The Systemically Racist Black Memphis Police
When the Biden administration announced that it was opening a civil rights investigation into the death of Tyre Nichols at a Memphis traffic stop, experts and legal scholars were baffled.“What is the basis for believing that the police beat Nichols to his death because he was a black man?” former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy wondered. “That civil-rights provision makes it a crime for people acting willfully and under color of law (e.g., on-duty police officers) to deprive others of their federal rights or subject them to discriminatory treatment by reason of their ‘color, or race,’ he pointed out.
Biden’s racist DOJ operatives have repeatedly and wrongly targeted police officers using Section 242. Some of the officers, like those lynched as a result of George Floyd’s drug overdose death, like Tou Thao, the child of Hmong refugees, were members of minority groups. But the DOJ, under the Trump administration, avoided prosecuting the law enforcement personnel, three of whom were black, in the accidental death of drug dealer Freddie Gray.The Section 242 investigation of the black police officers on the scene in Memphis during the Tyre Nichols death shows that Biden’s DOJ is pursuing a much more ambitious agenda. The real case, the ideological one, not the technical one that the Biden DOJ may choose to pursue for ideological reasons, is being laid out in press releases and editorials. “Black cops killed Tyre Nichols. Systemic racism is the death of us all,” a Boston Globe column contended. “5 Black Memphis Cops Upheld Institutional And Cultural Racism In Tyre Nichols’ Murder,” Forbes raved. The Washington Post headlined it, “Black Memphis police spark dialogue on systemic racism in the U.S.” “Our country will continue to sanction the taking of black lives with impunity until it embraces an affirmative vision of public safety and dismantles its racist policing system rooted in enslavement,” Rep. Cori Bush of the Squad fumed. The transition from ‘white people’ to ‘whiteness’, from the idea of racism as an individual view to a structural one, had been building up for some time. Many conservatives focused on how critical race theory affected white people to understand what it was really engineered to do. And the real ends that the Tyre Nichols case is being used for. Civil rights legislation began by removing laws that were plainly discriminatory, then it began targeting laws that were said to be discriminatory in impact, whether intentionally or unintentionally so that, for example, requiring high school diplomas for certain jobs was branded as discriminatory because fewer black people had graduated high school. This form of civil rights authoritarianism, known as disproportionate impact, had until recently governed life with everything from voter IDs to credit card only businesses and dress codes falling afoul of it. But the next leap to systemic racism ushered in a truly totalitarian system. Influenced by claims like those put out by racialist author Ibram X. Kendi, everything that was not explicitly anti-racist, that is dedicated to dismantling racism, was deemed racist. Neutrality and fairness were impossible. Equality and a color-blind society were racist lies. Equity demanded not only special advantages for certain minorities and the degradation of white people, but total social change. Anything made by white people, especially those predating diversity, equity and inclusion training, was inherently racist. Newton’s laws, Beowulf and the Constitution were the work of white people who had not taken into account diverse perspectives. Anything built on their work was systemically racist. A black scientist, literature professor or constitutional scholar was still upholding whiteness and systemic racism by engaging with these works and teaching them. Civil rights legislation had given federal authorities supremacy over all businesses anywhere in the country by classifying them as public accommodations and over state elections long after segregation had become a distant memory. Disproportionate impact had opened up virtually any area of public life to federal control but still maintained an evidentiary standard. But the only evidentiary standard needed for systemic racism is that white people were involved. Once. The Memphis police has a black female police chief, a black female union head and a majority black police force. If any organization ought to be immune to accusation of racism, it’s this one. But not even a black-led and 58% black organization is immune to charges of systemic racism. Systemic racism isn’t just about calling white people racists. Virtually every previous phase of what was once a civil rights movement, but has long since degenerated into a racket, hate group or leftist revolutionary cause, did that as well. The genius of systemic racism is how it encompasses minorities, including black people, as racists if they don’t go along with it. Systemic racism uses the existence of white people as a weapon against aspirational minorities. Black nationalists had long ago come up with the underlying racialist idea of systemic racism. They denounced black businessmen and police officers for acting white rather than finding their inner blackness by joining imaginary pseudo-Islamic cults and Marxist terrorist movements. Obama, who probably knew it all too well, complained about the stigma that “says a black youth with a book is acting white.” Systemic racism flipped it around, but retained the idea. “Systemic racism” in “non-white people”: a common woke phrase, is just acting white. But it applies the idea of “acting white” on an institutional level. The Memphis police department was acting white by trying to stop crime from being committed by black people against other black people. The idea that police officers ought to prevent crime and capture criminals is, as Rep. Bush put it, a “racist policing system rooted in enslavement and government control” that has to be replaced with “an affirmative vision of public safety”. That is to say a welfare state that treats criminals like victims and tells their victims that they need to understand that the criminals aren’t to blame. The muggings, drug dealing and gang shootings are capitalism’s fault. Systemic racism is aimed like a bullet at institutions and at our nation. Its grand scope captures everything that exists, from the Constitution, inherently illegitimate because of its whiteness, to our laws, our culture and every single human being regardless of their race. That is what the Biden administration is taking aim at. Not just police officers, but policing, not five black men, but the entire idea of public safety and the criminal justice system. And beyond, using it as a precedent for subjecting all institutions to a new standard of systemic racism. If a black institution can be accused of harboring systemic racism against black people within its very soul, so can any institution. And the only solution will be federal oversight of every institution which will be required to affirmatively demonstrate that it is reinventing itself in line with diversity, equity and inclusion into a truly anti-racist entity by accepting leftist dogma. Systemic racism is a lie. The only systemic racism still left in America has been imposed by the distorted version of civil rights currently going by the name of diversity, equity and inclusion with its affirmative action racial preferences and critical race theory indoctrination programs. It’s not about fighting racism, it’s about taking over America under the guise of racism. If you doubt that, just look at the “systemic racism” of the black Memphis police force.