Cornel West: American Police ‘Have Been Out of Control Since the Slave Patrol’ — Black People Are ‘Traumatized’

Harvard Divinity School philosophy professor Cornel West declared Wednesday on CNN’s “Tonight” that American police “have been out of control since the slave patrol.”

During the discussion about George Floyd and Daunte Wright, West said, “So the question is what does a general your genuine love for Black people, a genuine care for black people look like in this situation. And there’s a number of different responses to that, but all of us have to come to terms, and we’re not just talking about Black folks, just as a human being who has a deep care and concern about a people who have been dealing with police, who have been out of control since the slave patrol. So we’re talking about hundreds of years. There’s thousands of black people who have been shot down by the police, male and female, children and grandchildren.”

He continued, “How many times have I complied and still got dragged off. I’m a Black man in a three-piece suit. I still get treated bad, not as bad as my brothers and sisters in the hood, but any Black person can be terrorized and traumatized with police out of control. So this notion that somehow if you comply, I tell them to get off the crack pipe and try to get some sympathy and sensitivity to their fellow human beings who are of color who are Black. It is not just Black. It’s brown and indigenous people, but it’s especially Black, white supremacy targets Black folk in that way, and we’ve got to come up with ways of protecting each other and defending each other. We can’t allow this to go on and on and on. Some kind of accountability has to be in place.”

Lemon said, “This distrust of police it didn’t just come out of nowhere. There is a reason for it. There is a reason for it.”

West said, “Absolutely. And the police who claim to be good but still silent when their partners are engaging in this kind of vicious arbitrary use of power against Black folk, they are complicit, too. And it spills over to the politicians who give us a little lip service but don’t want to really send police to jail. Police need to go to jail after a trial.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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