NO ADVERTISING, GOVERNMENT OR CORPORATE FUNDING

  • Latest News
  • Pitch a Story
  • Work with a Journalist
  • Join the Blog Squad
  • Afghanistan
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Baltimore
  • Canada
  • Egypt
  • Europe
  • Latin America
  • Middle East
  • Russia
  • Economy
  • Environment
  • Health Care
  • Military
  • Occupy
  • Organize This
  • Reality Asserts Itself
  • US Politics
  • Police Brutality and the Failure of Liberal Democrats


    Glen Ford says that the recent death of Eric Garner by the NYPD demonstrates that liberal democrats like NYC mayor Bill de Blasio will not end institutional racism -   October 3, 14
    Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here

    Audio

      Share to Twitter
    Share to Facebook



    TRNN has... made its mark with amazing original reporting on the Middle East and international protest movements. - Caroline Lewis
    Log in and tell us why you support TRNN

    Bio

    Glen Ford is a distinguished radio-show host and commentator. In 1977, Ford co-launched, produced and hosted America's Black Forum, the first nationally syndicated Black news interview program on commercial television. In 1987, Ford launched Rap It Up, the first nationally syndicated Hip Hop music show, broadcast on 65 radio stations. Ford co-founded the Black Commentator in 2002 and in 2006 he launched the Black Agenda Report. Ford is also the author of The Big Lie: An Analysis of U.S. Media Coverage of the Grenada Invasion.

    Transcript

    Police Brutality and the Failure of Liberal DemocratsANTON WORONCZUK, TRNN PRODUCER: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Anton Woronczuk in Baltimore. And welcome to another edition of The Ford Report.

    Now joining us as Glen Ford. He's the cofounder and executive editor of Black Agenda Report and the author of The Big Lie: An Analysis of the U.S. Media Coverage of the Grenada Invasion.

    Thanks for joining us, Glen.

    GLEN FORD, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, BLACK AGENDA REPORT: Thank you.

    WORONCZUK: So what have you been following this week?

    FORD: Well, New York City's police have claimed another victim. His name is Eric Garner. He's a black man from Staten Island who was known to the police for engaging in the very, very serious crime of selling loose cigarettes on the street. And for that he was a tackled and put in a choke hold and subsequently died.

    The chokehold in New York City has been outlawed for 20 years. It was outlawed back in 1994 when another celebrated chokehold death occurred. That was of Anthony Baez. He was a young Latino man who'd been throwing a football around in the streets with his brothers, his blood brothers, and he was similarly taken out with a chokehold.

    The similarity here also extends to who was the police commissioner at the time. At that time, it was Bill Bratton, the man who is credited with being the architect of stop and frisk as we came to know it. Bill Bratton is now, of course, the police commissioner of New York City, brought back, brought on board by Bill de Blasio, who's supposed to be the great liberal hope of the country, the person who's at the point of a wave of liberal Democrats being elected. But he chooses to bring this guy back.

    And Bill Bratton is most famous for aggressive pursuit of what he calls quality-of-life crimes. It also goes by the doctrine of "broken windows". And that is that police should aggressively pursue those who are committing very, very low level offenses, basically with the idea that if you give certain kinds of people in the public--apparently black and brown males--an inch, they will take a mile, while the real truth is that if you give the police an inch, they will take your life, as they did Eric Garner.

    WORONCZUK: So do you see this as more than just a case of a few bad cops, then?

    FORD: No, it's not a case of a few bad cops. It's a case of institutional racism and a predictable case. When de Blasio brought Bratton on, eyebrows were raised all over town. This was supposed to be the guy who was going to put stop and frisk, if not abolish it, put it on hold. But he brings in the architect of stop and frisk and "broken windows" and the guy who's [deaf (?)] on quality-of-life issues.

    What "broken windows" and "quality of life" really means is the same thing as stop and frisk: arbitrary, selective enforcement of the law on the streets, targeting black and brown men. It's not about upholding some kind of code so that people don't commit larger tribes. It is a provocation. Eric Garner was not--when he was accosted on that fatal day this week, he was not selling loose cigarettes, but he had been known to sell loose cigarettes. And so the cops were preemptively approaching him to hassle him about the possibility that he might be at it again. And he objected strenuously, he raised his voice, and that was enough to get his voice and his life choked out of him. So these are provocations. They are basically goon squads that roam the city, provoking young folks to say anything that stands up for their dignity and then be invited into the system, a system from which you may never return.

    WORONCZUK: So what do you think needs ultimately be done, then, to end police brutality and to have it be held accountable?

    FORD: Well, mass public action, obviously. If you talk to a lawyer, they'll say, well, you have to show a pattern and practice of police misconduct. We have to remember that it took ten years, more than ten years, for the stop-and-frisk case to finally have its day in court. The lawyers for the victims were lucky to get a halfway decent judge, finally, to preside over the case, and that judge was later taken off of the case. And so the outcome was left in limbo and basically hinged on a promise by de Blasio that stop and frisk as we knew it would be abolished, but there was never any thing formal in this kind of agreement. And here he brings on the guy who brought stop and frisk, who laid out the whole grand plan, as his police commissioner. It calls into question this whole idea of what a liberal Democrat does in the face of blatant patterns of police brutality and racism. And in this case, he has enabled it.

    WORONCZUK: Well, what about other aspects of de Blasio's leadership? Do you think that progressives should continue to hold out in support of him for other things?

    FORD: Why? Nothing is more central to the urban experience than race. Race underlies the whole question of income inequality, which is supposed to be de Blasio's main theme, the elimination of it. But we can see very clearly that stop and frisk and the petty harassment of black folks through "broken windows" and selective enforcement is designed to create a hostile urban environment for black and brown people in order to facilitate gentrification. So, certainly that goes against the grain of de Blasio's vaunted ambition to eliminate the most gross aspects of income inequality.

    WORONCZUK: Okay. Glen Ford, thanks for that report.

    FORD: Thank you.

    WORONCZUK: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.

    End

    DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


    Comments

    Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at contact@therealnews.com

    Comments


    Latest Stories


    Kurdish Fighters Move to Regain Kobani
    Hedges and Wolin (3/8): Can Capitalism and Democracy Coexist?
    The Financialization of Life (3/5)
    Hedges & Wolin (2/8): Can Capitalism and Democracy Coexist?
    US Dropping Arms and Ammunition to Syrian Kurds in Kobani
    Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz: An Indigenous People's History of the United States (1/3)
    The Financialization of Life (2/5)
    Hedges & Wolin (1/8): Can Capitalism and Democracy Coexist?
    American Exceptionalism at Play in Interpreting the Convention on Torture
    UN Issues Statement on Human Rights Violations in Detroit
    The Financialization of Life (1/5)
    Study Finds Sea Levels Rising at an Unprecedented Rate
    Nuclear Deal with Iran 95% Complete
    Low Black Voter Turnout Could Unseat Senate Democrats
    Nearly Four Years After the Revolution, Where is Egypt Headed?
    U.S. Border Patrol Influence Expands Down to Mexican Southern Border (2/2)
    Does Iran Have Legitimate Nuclear Energy Needs? (2/2)
    48th Anniversary of the Founding of the Black Panther Party
    Why Are Republicans Linking Ebola & U.S-Mexican Border? (1/2)
    Culture of the National Security State - Deepa Kumar on Reality Asserts Itself (5/5)
    Does Iran Have Legitimate Nuclear Energy Needs? (1/2)
    Behind America's Store Fronts - Drugs, Homelessness and Abandonment
    Protests at St. Louis University - TRNN Reports From Ferguson
    Why Are Stock Markets So Volatile?
    The Islamophobia of "Homeland" - Deepa Kumar on Reality Asserts Itself (4/5)
    U.S. Will Fail In Attempt to Create Proxy Army in Syria
    Emissions Reduction Impossible without Demilitarizing Foreign Policy
    Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire - Deepa Kumar on Reality Asserts Itself (3/5)
    Pollution Inequality and Income Inequality
    Whose Interests Are Served by Occupy Hong Kong?

    RealNewsNetwork.com, Real News Network, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of IWT.TV inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and Real News Network.

    All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network.  Click here for more

    Problems with this site? Please let us know

    Linux VPS Hosting by Star Dot Hosting