Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: The Police Aren’t Under Attack. Institutionalized Racism Is.
In a Dec. 21, 2014 article about the shooting, the Los Angeles Times referred to the New York City protests as “anti-police marches,” which is grossly inaccurate and illustrates the problem of perception the protestors are battling. The marches are meant to raise awareness of double standards, lack of adequate police candidate screening, and insufficient training that have resulted in unnecessary killings. Police are not under attack, institutionalized racism is. Trying to remove sexually abusive priests is not an attack on Catholicism, nor is removing ineffective teachers an attack on education. Bad apples, bad training, and bad officials who blindly protect them, are the enemy. And any institution worth saving should want to eliminate them, too.
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose.” This is the season and time when we should be resolved to continue seeking justice together and not let those with blind biases distract, diminish, or divide us. The way to honor those who defend our liberties with their lives—as did my father and grandfather—is not to curtail liberty, but to exercise it fully in pursuit of a just and peaceful society.
In what is probably supposed to be a counterpoint to this column, Time also has a piece penned by Bernard Kerik that might just as easily have been written by Patrick Lynch. Kerik’s bio is listed as follows:
Bernard B. Kerik served as the 40th Police Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (2000-2001) and is Founder and CEO of The Kerik Group.
Interestingly, no mention of his checkered past which includes jail time. Maybe it’s just me but that might have an effect on how credibly people take his point of view.