Kareem Jabbar’s Defense of Protest is a Slam Dunk

Awesome.  Kareem Abdul Jabbar is doing some great work as a columnist for Time magazine.  Two days ago he wrote a brave must-read pieceThe Police Aren’t Under Attack. Institutionalized Racism Is”.  The former pro basketball all-time scoring champ stood up to the bullies who are trying to use the murder of two NYC policemen to silence all criticism of police outrages.  He says, “This shrill cry of “policism” (a form of reverse racism) by Pataki and the police unions is a hollow and false whine born of financial self-interest (unions) or party politics …rather than social justice”

This is a reaction to the outrageous comments of New York City police union head Pat Lynch who claimed New York Mayor DeBlasio has “blood on his hands”, apparently because DeBlasio mentioned that 

he had repeatedly told his Black son to be wary of anything that would appear suspicious to a policeman. Lynch also threatened, “When those funerals are over, we’ll raise our heads and those that allowed this to go on will be held accountable” The “this” is apparently the mass protests against the killings of unarmed Blacks.  So Lynch evidently wanted nightsticks or worse to break up all the rallies.

An article by former NYC police commissioner Bernard Kerick (who it should be remembered served three years in prison for corruption) echoed the same hysterical sentiments. 

On the other hand former NYC detective Graham Weatherspoon  blasted Lynch on “Democracy Now” saying Lynch was “throwing gasoline on the flames”.

Sports columnist Dave Zirin was one of the first to defend athletes who supported Ferguson protests in messages on their game clothing.  He wrote a piece in The Nation worrying that athletes might get scared away from doing anything more and hoped this would not occur. He wrote, “Trying to find your breath when police and media are declaring war against a peaceful movement could not be more critical.”

Greg Grandin writes that these police threats could be a warning (or first act) in a “police coup” which police use their power and holstered guns to force polices down the throat of political leaders.  He linked to a New York Times article which describes how 10,000 officers swarmed the steps of city hall when David Dinkins was mayor.  Dinkins ended up being a one-term mayor and Rudy Guliani who was in the “protest” replaced him.

I don’t think the idea of a moratorium of NYC police brutality protests until after the funerals is a bad idea.  It makes it clear that the movement has no use for killings or random attacks on police.    But the day after the memorials there should be a rally of thousands on the City Hall steps.  The demonstration should be made up  of everyone who opposes police intimidation, from Mayor DeBlasio to the leaders of the protests against the police killings of unarmed people.

BTW in Milwaukee the DA let another one go.  A policeman was rousting Dontre Hamilton for sleeping in a park.  Hamilton didn’t cooperate.  The policeman, Christoper Manney, used his nightstick and Hamilton fought back striking Manney with the baton.  Manney then shot Hamilton 14 times!  Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm announced he had decided this was “justifiable self-defense”.  Disgusting.

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