By James Bailey
A quick look at what’s ahead:
- President Biden thanks African-Americans during victory speech.
- Amy Cooper calls the NYPD on innocent African-American Christian Cooper.
- George Floyd was murdered by officer Derek Chauvin on the same day as Amy Cooper fiasco.
- NYPD whistleblower exposes the department’s instructions to focus arrests on blacks and latinos.
- Systematic oppression of black bodies has existed in NYC since slavery in the 1600’s.
Recently, as the Asian community has been experiencing harassment and violent attacks largely due to former President Trump’s racist rhetoric, the media and federal government has offered sympathy and support to the community. However, some question where that same level of support is for the African-American community who has constantly been under attack in America.
On January 26, 2021, just six days after the inauguration of President Joe Biden, as many across the nation were still in shock by the murder of George Floyd, the riots that rocked America due to anti-black racism, and a hope for change under our country’s new administration, Biden signed a “Memorandum Condemning and Combatting Racism, Xenophobia and Intolerance Against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States”. Though Biden offered a special thank you to the African-American community for supporting him leading to a presidential win, many wonder has he now turned his back on the Black community to focus on the Asian community.
The Asian community should receive support and protection from the federal government especially after Trump placed a target on their backs by suggesting they are responsible for the Covid-19 virus currently plaguing America that he dubbed the Chinese Virus. However, the African-American community has always been under attack from racism and systematic white supremacy long before and during Trump’s term in office.
Many in our nation were shocked when on May 25th, 2020, a bird watching black man in Central Park named Christian Cooper asked a white woman named Amy Cooper (no relation) to leash her dog as per park rules. Ms. Cooper responded saying she’d call the cops on Mr. Cooper and tell them that an African-American man is threatening her. She followed through on her threat, calling the cops while dramatically screaming on the phone to 911 as if she was truly being assaulted, all while Mr. Cooper was calmly video recording her strange shenanigans. Like many before Ms. Cooper, it appears that her intention was to weaponize the cops against the black man for inconveniencing her and to show him who had the power. Ms. Cooper’s behavior is common in America, where white women or men call the cops on African-Americans knowing the white supremacist system will likely take their side and possibly harm or even kill them.
The New York Times reports, the criminal case brought against Ms. Cooper for falsely reporting an incident against Mr. Cooper has been dropped. Many were not surprised that her actions that could have gotten Mr. Cooper killed by police did not see her convicted.
On the very same day as that incident occurred, the world watched George Floyd, an unarmed non-resisting black man be murdered by Derek Chauvin as other police officers stood by allowing it and the public witnessed the horror live and on video. Riots broke out in Minneapolis and across the nation.
According to the New York Times, the most important question in this trial is whether Mr. Floyd’s death was drug related or from deprivation of oxygen. Many African-Americans are clear that no matter the verdict, a lot of work needs to be done to eradicate systematic white supremacy and racism in America.
In December 2019, the New York Times reported that Lieutenant Edwin Raymond and other police officers were instructed by their new commander in South Brooklyn to “think of white and Asian people as soft targets and urged them instead to go after blacks and Latinos for minor offenses like jumping the turnstile, a half-dozen officers said in sworn statements.”
This year in February 2021, The Gothamist reports that Lt. Edwin Raymond is running for City Council at the request of fellow police officers. The hope is that he can use his inside knowledge as an NYPD police officer to effect change which is needed department-wide.
Black bodies have always been under attack in America from as early as the 1600’s when Africans built Wall Street in slave labor. As many as 15,000 plus skeletal remains of mostly enslaved Africans were discovered buried in lower Manhattan. Even in death, the African skeletal remains were disrespected as buildings were built on top of the burial sites.
The question remains, will African-Americans ever receive racial harassment protection from the Federal Government like President Biden intends with the Asian-American community, or are African-Americans on their own?