By Elmer Whittaker
When back in 1992 the video of the Rodney King beating was released, I was as outraged as everyone else just to be dumbfounded by the acquittal of police officers clearly involved and without any doubt guilty of the justified charges against them.
I couldn’t blame anyone for protesting and demanding justice. Last not least, this was America. The Land of the Free with Liberty and Justice for All. It mattered little if Rodney King was Black, Hispanic or White. Justice needed to be served.
But then came the riots. And the riots changed much if not everything. At least for me it did. I will never forget the news footage of the white truck driver who was pulled out of his truck and brutally beaten just because he was white.
That stuck to my mind to this very day and the time the riots reached Las Vegas. Armed with a shotgun I was prepared to defend the poker establishment on Las Vegas’ Main Street which I was managing back then. Luckily it remained rather peaceful in these parts of town, because Metro, basically locked the Black community into their West Side section of town just north of Downtown, by simply erecting police blockades on all streets leading in and out of the West Side. So the rioters were left with having the loot and burn their own community.
I was never able to excuse the riots which followed the acquittal of the cops who beat Rodney King and so I listened more and more to those voices who partially blamed Rodney King and the Black community for his beating. If he would have just obeyed the law and wouldn’t have led the cops on a high speed chase, the beating would have never happened, some people rationalized.
And somehow it was even true and I couldn’t help agree to some extent.
Then over the years, new news footage of other so called “police brutalities” mainly against blacks or other minorities surfaced. And which each new atrocity the same old black activists of the same old black community cried out and blamed the white community and the police for all the wrong doing.
While I was most sympathetic to many of the victims of police brutality the excuse that “they should have obeyed the law”, or “they must have done something wrong”, and “the police wouldn’t do that without reason”, were most convincing to me and so the complaints of the black community soon became rather annoying to me. I simply couldn’t take the victims accusations towards the police serious anymore and started to discredit them. Last not least, this was America and I myself had never made a bad experience with the police or any sort of corruption.
And so I went on minding my own life and affairs, eventually moving to Arizona, where between 2009 and 2010 I myself became the multiple victim of police and judicial misconduct, abuse and corruption when several cases were fabricated against me and I was charged with crimes that never even happened, culminating into my life being threatened by the Sheriff’s Office for filing a complaint with the FBI against the Police Chief.
Although, I successfully defended myself to great cost to me and all the cases had to be dismissed, I suddenly was put into the place of the black people who mainly complained about police abuse, realizing that the very accusations they made against the police and the justice system were really true, as the very same things were happening to me.
This is America, how can these things be happening to me? And if they are happening to me, then they have been happening to others like the black community all along. And so this was the time of my complete awakening, although I had been somehow more awake since 9/11 already.
Today, I can understand those who do not believe the claims and accusations of the black or minority communities. I once was like them. I could not have believed it, if it wouldn’t have happened to me.
The acceptance of the truth and the realization that everything I believed to be true was a complete and utter lie was a traumatic shock to me. I grew up with the notion that the police was your friend and helper and that corruption happens somewhere in South America but not here in these United States. And so I had been a supporter of the police for all of my life.
Although the minority communities still bear the worst of the injustices, nowadays it is no longer a problem restricted to minority communities, but a problem that engulfs and consumes our entire society regardless of race, religion, sex, social status, left or right and so forth, with the exception of course of the rich who can afford to invest hundreds of thousands if not millions into the legal system and their lawyers. We are now officially living in a government sponsored police state.
For many it will take a personal experience or victimization of political, judicial and police corruption to finally wake up and be able to see what is going on in our country. For others the revelation will never come, especially if they can remain miraculously shielded from any exposure to corruption.
It is of little use to brawl beat such people in endless debates that often result in insulting arguments, as they are not blind to the issues on purpose. It’s nothing malicious, they simply cannot see. Their mind is in denial and will not let them accept the truth. I know, because I once was blind myself…