Through the Lens of History
Julianne Malveaux | 5/24/2012, 3:17 p.m.
When race, equality and fairness are taken into consideration, there is far too much to be outraged about in these United States of America.
Just prior to writing this column, I learned that Andrew Bloomberg, the 29 year old police officer whose participation in the brutal beating of Chad Holley, was found not guilty of the beating. The video of the beating has gone viral, and few doubt that an actual beating took place. Actually, using the word "beating" severely misstates the case against Bloomberg and some of his fellow officers (who have not been tried yet).
In the video I saw, Chad Holley is lying face down on the pavement, surrounded by five offers who are kicking him in the head, shoulders and legs, and then stomping him all over his body and near his head. Bloomberg says they had to stomp Chris Holley because he was resisting arrest! I say Houston police allowed their inherent racial biases to mistreat Mr. Holley. Indeed Chris Holley's beating makes the Rodney King beating look like a garden party.
To be sure, police caught Holley in a bold daytime burglary. Even a criminal has rights in the eyes of the law. By beating the 15-year-old Chad Holley, Houston Police violated his civil rights. Bloomberg and his gang of police hoodlums (isn't that what they call black youngsters when they are collectively involved in criminal activity) have at least been fired from the Houston police force, but Bloomberg, the first of the pack to be fired, faced an all-white jury who let him off without as much as a slap on the wrist.
Police brutality has been as big an issue in Houston as it has in other urban centers. Indeed a group of Black ministers just ended their three-decades old partnership with the HPD because Police Chief Charles McClelland changed the terms of the partnership, instating a rule that violates free speech. The rule states that ministers can not criticize the police or the city administration. As a result of the absurd edict, 150 Houston Black ministers turned in their police credentials.
I guess Chief McClelland can justify his gag rule against ministers by considering the many times they have been forced to comment unfavorably on police shenanigans. In March, Annika Lewis, 26, was beaten as she tried to record her own arrest in Houston. Then, the police took her video card so that she would have no record of the arrest. Her husband was charged with "resisting arrest" with no other underlying charge against him. Resisting arrest might consist of as little as asking why one is being stopped. Of course, I am outraged.
I am outraged at the backlash from the African American church about President Obama's support of marriage equality. I'm outraged because there are those who suggest that the African American community might prefer a flawed Obama to a racist, hateful, and austerity-embracing Romney, a man who has said that despite a national deficit, he would increase defense spending, and cut social services. Why do we need more defense spending? This hawkish position represents nothing but pandering.