by Laurence Legall Taylor
Affirmative Action Specialist/Paralegal
"The perp had a wallet, he startled the officer, he had something in his hand, he shouldn't have been on the roof, he shouldn't have been playing football in the street. We only have split seconds to make a decision."
All of these explanations for the violent deaths of (mostly) Black males combined with the fact that police officers don't murder white males for wallets, for carrying candy bars, on roofs or playing football on the street support the conclusion that there is a deeper problem when it comes to policing our Black African communities. Since there is a high number of police murders of Black civilians in our communities, as opposed to any other community, for things that people normally do whether it be cultural or otherwise (carrying wallets, playing football, being on your own roof, eating a candy bar on the street, driving while Black, breathing while Black), one can only come to the conclusion that there is something wrong with the perception of those brutalizing and murdering our people for ordinary behavior. Therefore it is very important that we analyze the perception that police officers have about our communities if they come from the outside and are unfamiliar with the customs of our communities.
We understand that everyone has been conditioned to one degree or another by this racist/colorist society. We also understand that racism/colorism is a pathological response to skin color and cultural differences which affect all areas of people activity (economics, education, entertainment, labor, law, politics, religion, sex and war). We should therefore understand, since police officers are human beings, that they have also been conditioned by this racist/colorist society. Therefore it stands to reason that such influences have an impact on how these police officers respond to skin color and cultural differences. Now the question becomes to what extent does untreated racism/colorism affect those who are making "split second" life and death decisions about Black people and people of color in our communities? This question is what our community should be asking those police officers and the police administration on a daily basis.
I am the Vice President of the Institute for "Interracial" Harmony, Inc., a not-for-profit organization focused on dealing with the impact of racism/colorism on our communities. My organization, along with our Staff Psychologist, has developed the Racism/Colorism Quotient Test (R/CQ Test) and Diversity Program Workshop. One of the premises of our R/CQ Test is that if one can be tested for their IQ, then we should be able to develop a test that determines the relative degree of racism/colorism within an individual. We have developed such a test and have been using it, along with our Diversity Program, for the past 20 years, with various organizations and government agencies across the country, including with some of the
It is my organization's philosophy that racism/colorism is a pathological response to differences in skin color and culture. This pathological response is caused by the mis-education of the masses - by omissions and commissions - based on color distinctions within our education system. Individuals with such untreated pathology are allowed to obtain positions in our community where they have to make life and death decisions about our people which are often fatal.
When NYPD Police Officer Neri walked into a building in our Black African community, his pathology affected his judgement. All he realized was that here he was, a scared, white officer surrounded by a totally different culture he knew nothing about but what he'd picked up from the racist/colorist media which reinforces stereotypes and misconceptions about our people. He disregarded policy and procedure (after being with the NYPD for eleven years), placed his finger on the trigger without discerning the circumstances and then ascended the stairs. When he was confronted by a human being, Timothy Stansbury, Jr., who was of a different color and part of a culture he knew nothing about, in a "split second," he responded pathologically with deadly force. These fatal circumstances have been happening for far too long to our people and will continue, if pathological responses to differences in skin color and culture are not adequately addressed within the police departments across the county. Now there's a proposition our community can really get behind.
Our community needs to put forth and galvanize united support for the proposition that before police officers are given a gun and allowed to patrol our neighborhoods that they be tested for their pathological responses to differences in skin color and culture, and where they are found dysfunctional under such circumstances, not to be placed in our communities until their pathological responses are properly dealt with.
Brother Laurence Legall Taylor
Institute for "interracail" Harmony, Inc.