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Black Councilwoman Criticized For Calling Out Racism Within Law Enforcement And The Court System

By: Giovanni Zaburoni

Back in 2006, the Federal Bureau of Investigations released a report saying White Supremacists had infiltrated law enforcement agencies in the United States and that it was considered a significant national threat.  According to The Grio, after that report was released, white supremacist groups went up from 149 to nearly 1,000.  This information shouldn’t be surprising considering the fatal interactions Black men in particular have had with police officers across the country and the lack of prosecutorial actions taken against white officers that have killed unarmed Black men and boys in the past couple years.  These killings have gone on for far longer than the past couple years but now thanks to civilians with cell phones monitoring what police are actually doing on the street, we actually get to see the violence Black people and other minorities face when interacting with law enforcement.

Angelia Williams Graves is a Black councilwoman from Norfolk, Virginia and she has come under fire from law enforcement in her area for speaking out against “undercover racists” within the police departments and courtrooms across the country.  During an annual NAACP luncheon, Graves said bigots had traded in their white cloaks and hoods for “police uniforms, suits and ties and robes,” according to Atlanta Black Star.  Norfolk Sheriff Bob McCabe says Graves’ words are insulting to his department.  “I wouldn’t have expected that from a city leader,” and that a “lot of this anti-law enforcement sentiment has crossed the line.”

The councilwoman has since clarified her remarks, saying she was not talking about local officials in her area.  She says she was talking about lawmakers, cops who enforce laws, and judges who give Aafrican Americans biased sentences.  Graves says, “I have a tremendous amount of respect for the job that police officers do, and they are people just like everybody else.  But all of them are not right, and when one of them does something stupid and racist, it makes all of them look bad.  Until you can experience the other side of law enforcement as a Black man, don’t tell me about your offense.”

Sheriff McCabe says, “Just like not every young African-American with dreadlocks or whatever is out there committing crimes.  The majority of the policemen are out there doing the right thing.”

It’s funny how law enforcement doesn’t want to be judged by just a few bad apples but there seems to be no problem in generalizing black people.  Somehow every time an unarmed Black man or child is killed, the overall theme of the media and non-minorities is that they did something to deserve being killed.  Black people are generalized all the time so why should they get any sympathy be given to law enforcement that has a real problem with how they people living in minority communities.  

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