Thursday, 4 December 2014

Driving Whilst Black

That’s the crime black people in America have hypothesized to explain why the police arbitrarily stop black drivers.

It’s a bitter little joke and oddly enough it seems the people — by no means all black — presently demonstrating on the streets of New York are in high spirits. Oddly? Well, something similar was common in England in September 1939. People didn’t like to admit it at the time, but years later they would quietly tell one ‘You know, I was actually pleased when they declared war.’ Similarly, things in America have now reached the point where no sane person could any longer pretend that the police, or even the courts, are colour-blind. Having a clearly definable enemy to point to — (young black men, white policemen, Muslims, Jews — it doesn’t have to be the actual enemy, though this time it all too clearly is) — can be a relief, even a joy.

In case anyone has missed it, I should say that yet again a policeman has killed someone; this time by deliberate strangling rather than shooting. Yet again, a ‘Grand Jury’ has decided that the policeman has no case to answer. Oh, and need I say? yet again it was a white policeman and a black victim.

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