Friday, September 5, 2008

White People Can't Understand Police Corruption

This post is about Genius and my fear it won't get enough votes to get made into a proper series. Right now I'm seriously considering cobbling together something in photoshop and photocopying it at my local library and putting some flyers up and hope people see it. All the kids in my old neighbourhood were big on Myspace and this is a storyline they can understand. It's a storyline I understand.

'Cause like I said in my title; White People Can't Understand Police Corruption.

This thread and this one here on a different livejournal community show people going - "But the author hasn't shown these cops as bad. There's just rampant killing of the police! The police are the good guys! There's not even any racial slurs!!!! WTF??!! They just gunned down officers for no reason!!"

No reason?


"Yeah" Someone else says, '"It's not like this is North Korea or China or something."

So apparently it's only understandable that the police can be fundamentally corrupt; can think of human beings as disposable, if said police are part of a communist government. And it's only understandable automatically that the police are blinded by their own prejudices when said police are Gestapo and the people oppressed are Jews (not even homosexuals and Roma because most people don't know or don't care about that if they pay attention to the Holocaust at all).

GENIUS is a a storyline about a tactical/military genius in the form of a 17 year old girl from South Central LA who plain as hell knows who the enemy is and is organizing her people against said enemy.

Just because you don't see a cop say n*gger doesn't mean they haven't done anything wrong. It's just privilege sure as hell showing because whites can afford to think of the police as their friends and the system as being for them- or at least they could if they weren't involved in protesting the war and getting beat the crap down in St. Paul for the RNC. And even that's not the same, the police there need to come up with some kind of excuse (however flimsy) to buss those asses. To bust a black ass?

1 - Driving while black.

2 - Driving in a 'too expensive car' while black (expensive being relative to the officer in question and his, sometimes her, perception).

3 - Walking while black.

4 - Standing on a street corner with age peers, while black (from ages 13 and up).

5 - Being black and requesting rights and equality.

6 - Being black and a sex worker.

7 - Being black and female and dressed up for clubbing.

8 - Being black and running away from gunshots.

9 -

  • "The subject was a black male."

  • "We believe the perpertrator was a black male."

  • "She said she was held at gunpoint and her car and children were taken from her by a black male."

  • "Be on the lookout for a black male, between twenty and forty years of age...."

  • "But this was just another incidence of black on black crime."

  • "An all time rise in black on black crime."

  • "The main police suspect in the case is a black male."

Just because this is the United States of America doesn't mean there's not a whole lot of similarity between here and now in the present and what happened in South Africa before the end of Aparthied. Just because we no longer have to go in through back doors and sit in the back of the bus and we get to apply for jobs alongside whites doesn't mean anything more than how much things all got shifted to the shadows instead of being bold in sin and sunlight.

Now to quote some stupidity from people who refuse to see that the cops have been in a war with blacks (specifically from the ghetto) for a long, long, time.

Are they oppressed by the police like the Nazis conquering Europe? Are they oppressed by the police like the British squeesing the lively hood out of the colonials and imprisoning those that speak against them?

I don't live in wonderland, but can you tell me the way to Exaggerationville?


Oppression? HAHAHAHAHA. Ever heard of North Korea? China? Burma or take your pick of shitty African countries, Russia, the Middle East and the list goes on. These people oppress themselves, try living in a place like the list and tell us about opression. Her tragic flaw is that she hasn't signed up with the police and is working on taking out the drug dealers and pimps and thugs that make her neighorhood a horrible place.

This is just about misdirected anger.

People only hear about bad cops on tv and the media but the majority of them are good men and women who do their jobs, put their lives on the line and people shit on them.


Stupid people aside, I don't think I'd back a comic that showed graphic depictions of law officers being killed. Especially when the comic doesn't make the motive of the main character clear. It's just one big, long "Fuck da police" sequence.

If it had been set up differently, like the cops she was after were all part of a corrupt, underground unit controlled by an evil DA who was targeting the young men of the neighborhood to help keep the drug trade going or something like that, then it would be a good story. Right now it's just, "I am the only black person to ever understand military tactics! Tremble in fear!"

Special Note: Clearly no one's ever told Gwynethfar that Hannibal was black. And she's also convinced the only white villains are mustache twirlers.



1. LOL @ "women in poor communities are allowed to do Women's Work, and therefore men would totally take orders from them".

Sure, the woman might handle all the money, do all of the cooking, and might be the only person in the house with a real job, but if you ask the husband who the Head of Household was, especially if said husband is a gang member with access to all the fun tools that implies, you'd get a very different answer.

2. In which case the mother or alpha woman being the head of household is even more unremarkable if we're trying to assess whether gang members raised in these surroundings would take orders from a 17-year-old girl

Special Note: Cause we all _know_ that shit could only happen to a half white made up character portrayed as real life Margeret Seltzer's Appropriating Memoirs


Over and over and OVER again the black community says - "We do not live in the same world!", We do not. live. in the same world!"

Whoopi Goldberg: " No, no, I, I want you to. But what I need you to understand is the frustration that goes along when you say we live in the same world. It isn’t balanced. And we would like it to be. But you have to understand, you have to listen to the fact that we’re telling you, there are issues, there are huge problems that still affect us. And you’ve got to know this if you want to know us."

And some whites have pointed this out as well. "Black and whites live in two different worlds." They say. "It is different!" they say.

GENIUS seems poised to be yet another voice declaiming this. It's not even out yet, but whites? Still not listening.

ETA: One can vote for GENIUS here on myspace; look for the inset poll. Or here on TopCow's front page, again look for the inset poll at the bottom of the page.


  1. Genius looks neat :O I voted for it! :D I wanna read more :]

    Those comments tho are so ARGH D:

    I get frustrated when I run into this wall with my white and cis friends too, who just dun understand why I dun trust the police... :\ they feel safer with the police around and i dun :\

  2. Just reading the posted comments tells me that most of these people didn't bother reading the book at all. And, what "ordinary citizens" don't understand is that while the police 'can be professional,' that professionalism is rarely ever extended to people of color (regardless of the "race" of police officer - For a cop, the color is "Blue" - and even that doesn't apply sometimes). Just ask the families of Louima, Sean Bell, Diallo, Donta Dawson, Donovan Jackson, and far too many countless others. There seems to be no end in sight whatsoever.

    However, based on the material that I have seen, I'm probably going to have to take a pass on this one. The two potential dealbreakers for Genius (as far as I am concerned) deal with "Enemy Perception" and "Enemy Escalation."

    I will not expound on these unless asked.

  3. HeavyArmor:

    "Enemy Perception" and "Enemy Escalation", at least as far as I understand them in relation to the comic seem to be at the very heart of the premise and plot. So yeah, on the whole it seems as if it wouldn't be something for you. Which is cool.

    I was too angry to break out the memory of Sean Bell. Or hell, even the Jenna 6. I'm not family to those involved but I am tired and raw at how 'surprised' everyone is or how they don't get why folk* would want something different than what happened.

    [ *If whites can be 'regular people' as if all regular people are white. Then I'll use folk for brown and black people. Cause a lot of us are just regular folk. ]

  4. "Just because you don't see a cop say n*gger doesn't mean they haven't done anything wrong. It's just privilege sure as hell showing because whites can afford to think of the police as their friends and the system as being for them..."

    On August 26, when th LA Weekly tried to speak to the LA chief of police about a serial killer who has been killing poor young black women for 22 YEARS, his spokesman said he was too busy to speak with them. Not, however, too busy to hold a press conference about the capture of a burglar who had been stealing silverware and china from the good part of town.

    At least 11 murders, with one survivor - more cases may be somewhere in the mounds of unexamined 'cold' files - and the chief of police doesn't have time for it. Not to mention the fact that the police department hadn't even bothered to tell some of the families of the victims that their loved ones were the victim of a serial killer. Nor had they notified the community that someone was out there killing young women. Since the women were 'presumed prostitutes' (and WTF does that MEAN? Who is making that presumption?) they were low priority crimes even after police realized they were dealing with a serial killer.

    The LA Weekly broke the story on August 28; on September 3 the police offered a $500,000 reward. Yeah, half a million on a case not important enough for the police chief to comment on.

    I stopped reading comics years ago. I might just have a reason to start again.

  5. Kdorian:

    Since the women were 'presumed prostitutes' (and WTF does that MEAN? Who is making that presumption?)

    White cops who think black lives are worthless.

    Romona Moore remains the pinnacle of my inner rage for the year. A bright, young, scholarly young woman disappears and the police tell her mother she probably had a boyfriend on the side and was up to something. Even when Moore's mother tells them that her daughter is a good girl. Even though the girl's friends back it up that she would have told her mother if she met some guy AND brought him to meet her mother - the police ignored it.

    She was alive for days just a few blocks from her own house while the police refused to instigate. She was raped and tortured for days! Some white guy even waltzed in, chatted with her murderers, saw her, and then left her there to go to a BABY SHOWER, then he left the state. And on top of all of that, the police didn't even find her body. Someone saw all the fliers her mother had organized and put up and called the hotline her mother had set up and told her where to find the body of her child. Even though Ramona's mother called the police, she and her party still showed up at the site long before the police to find her daughter's hands tied with a shoelace, the twin of which had been found by the group her mother organized to look for her - near the house where she'd been captured; evidence that the police had ALSO ignored.

    The officer ignoring her mother's repeated calls for help? He got promoted. And there are people upset that her mother's taking the time to sue the police department; she's claiming they have a double standard.

    Ramona Moore's kidnapping happened in the same time period (with overlap) as the disappearance of a white woman and her dog in Manhattan. Police brought out bullhorns on rolling vans and even walked around handing out flyers with pictures of the damn DOG - desperate to find this white woman within HOURS of her disappearance (not waiting the claimed 24 hrs they told a frightened mother of a young 22 yr old).

    A serial killer of black women? Well, they're all just whores and useless anyway in the eyes of the police; cause y'know, like I say above "Being black and female and dressed up for clubbing / Being black and being a sex worker" - that'll get you hassled, but heaven forbid you become a hassle; a reason for them to do their damn jobs.

    Yeah, I want GENIUS to win and I will actually buy the damn flimsy single issues.

  6. I love how they complain the cops are being attacked for no reason--even without social context and reality you can tell they obviously didn't read a damn thing because the book tells and shows you why she has it in for the cops. What, constant harassment or getting no help or let alone have your parents gunned down by the police doesn't constitute as reasons? So full of shit they all are.

  7. It's not just about black vs. white. The police are there to protect the System. Since most of the people inside the System are white, that makes it easy for cops to identify black people as probably-not-inside quickly. But believe me: if you're not a lovely little cog in the System, they are NOT your friends, no matter what you look like. Some fair-skinned folks are plenty well aware of this.

    I got hooked by "Genius" from the description alone, and intend to buy a copy as soon as possible.

  8. Ysabetwordsmith

    But believe me: if you're not a lovely little cog in the System, they are NOT your friends, no matter what you look like.

    You say that cops can identify black people as 'probably' not inside the system. I say there IS no probably. They DO identify black people as not being in the system; because black people were not PART of the system back in the day and it isn't really accepted now. There is always the belief that somewhere hiding is 'the truth' and that truth is counter system.

    Everything Barak Obama has been through in the press and Michelle Obama shows that clear as day.

    The system is whites helping out whites. I do not recall ever hearing about a white man looking slightly sideways and catching a white woman in his gaze, ending up on the kicking end of a noose and a lynch mob.

    The police have been part of the system USED against People of Colour for the longest time. The police have been the frontlines on 'The War on Brown Folk.'

    Don't let some guy running from the PoPo in his underwear on COPS fool you into thinking otherwise. Because do you know what they say about that guy? They say he's acting black so he deserves what he gets.

    Regardless of the truism that poor whites and indentured servants were turned against the class war by the introduction of black folk and other non-whites as the 'TRUE' other to be stood against with the upper classes - the average poor white man on the street is not aware and does. not. care.

    He has that privilege.

  9. Thanks so much for bringing 'Genius' to my attention. The premise grabbed me straight away - it seems like a story I'd definitely enjoy. Not to mention the protagonist looks kick-ass. I voted for it, fingers crossed. :)