After decades of police abuse on the streets of America every single day, the issue has finally become a frequently debated topic. Among the many issues relating to police violence is the the problem of racial profiling, and racial discrimination in the justice system.
These are certainly very real and very serious problems that deserve attention, but there is another vital part of this equation that has been entirely left out of the debate. The thing that nobody seems to be talking about is cultural profiling.
In the recent highly publicized police murders, the word “thug” has been thrown around to dehumanize the victims and paint them as criminals. While this term is often used by racists, there is something far deeper at play here.
If these victims were wearing expensive suits and dressed like CEO’s or bible salesmen, then chances are that they would have never gotten pulled over to begin with. If by chance they did get pulled over, the interaction would be quick and painless. Additionally, if a murder does happen to occur, it is not likely that someone killed in a business suit or military uniform or golfing outfit will be called a thug.
The thug label is typically only applied to people in the hip-hop culture, which in a way, criminalizes that culture.
People are judged negatively by police, media and the general population if they belong to a subculture that does not conform with the status-quo, or if they decide to express their individuality in a way that makes them seem different to others.
People who belong to the hip-hop culture, the hippie culture, bikers, ravers, skaters, punks, goths, gun owners, activists and even people with a few tattoos, are maligned by the establishment and viewed as if their lives are meaningless and their words are not to be trusted. These people are singled out and targeted by police officers, and are regularly profiled for unwarranted searches and random harassment.
In many ways, this mentality has justified the unjustifiable abuse, harassment and murder of countless people, from all different races and ethnic backgrounds. Being different isn’t a crime, but it does seem to make you an outlaw.
It is also important to mention that the problem of police abuse goes beyond just profiling and discrimination. The root of the problem is the fact that these people have legal immunity to carry out actions that you or I would be arrested for.
Take an abusive and violent officer’s badge and uniform away, and then see who the thug really is.
John Vibes is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture and the drug war. In addition to his writing and activist work he is also the owner of a successful music promotion company. In 2013, he became one of the organizers of the Free Your Mind Conference, which features top caliber speakers and whistle-blowers from all over the world. You can contact him and stay connected to his work at his Facebook page. You can find his 65 chapter Book entitled “Alchemy of the Timeless Renaissance” at bookpatch.com.