Memphis is burning! In that famous Tennessee city occurred a brutal murder of a young black man. Especially appalling, the murder resulted from the actions of five police officers. (We have to say all these things are “alleged,” of course, despite the video recording.) The criminally abusive acts of five police officers resulted in the death of Tyre Nichols.
Already, people are declaring Tyre’s death a crime of racism. But are the murderous actions of five Memphis officer’s racist? Like Tyre, the five police officers are black. Does the fact that the officers were also black comport with claims of racism? Or do the heinous criminal acts of the five Memphis officers comport more with excessive gross force and callous disregard for human life? Whether deemed racism or frenzies of excessive force, there is no denying brazen acts of police brutality. The level of brutality carried out by these five Memphis officers confirms a malady of their hearts that prompted them to act in an inhumane way.
Certainly, there are countless other evils, but there is no denying that both racism and police brutality exist. Still, was racism the motivating factor in the killing of Tyre Nichols?
America does have a severe, systemic, and pervasive problem. The fundamental problem is rooted in the intense desire to view every individual and event and occurrence through the lens of “race.” Adopting a mindset that enshrines viewing everything through the lens of race is the problem.
The race lens conveniently and simplistically uses “race” and racial strife as the explanation for most all evils. When every human evil is blamed almost exclusively upon “race,” blindness to real issues of crime and injustices will persist. Simplistically categorizing all crimes and injustices as “racist” means we never rigorously engage the issues to investigate other potential motivators. When racism is automatically asserted, it removes other issues (or mitigating circumstances) from being seriously contemplated. Problems are then never fully rectified and, therefore, are likely to continue.
Tyre Nichols’s brutal murder provides a perfect example of what can happen when actions are immediately and blindly deemed racist. When racism is deemed the de facto cause, other underlying factors (e.g., lack of training, the abusive culture within the department or “special unit,” lax hiring practices, ineffective psychological testing, etc.) can go mostly ignored. We pray the officers involved in Tyre’s death will be prosecuted to the fullest extent. However, if the five officers lacked proper training, or if their unit encouraged and tolerated horrible abuses of citizens, prosecuting them based on “racism” will do nothing to prevent abuses in the future.
The racism narrative is compelling, but it is not the root of all evil. These days, however, the much-overused racism narrative is a constant and convenient veneer for “race-baiting” race-hustlers as they overlay it onto all interactions to agitate perpetually. This provides them with notoriety, money, and power. Regrettably, race-baiters attempt to gain influence and notoriety by inflaming a situation involving five black police officers murdering a young black man by shamefully asserting that this situation confirms the “white supremacy” and racism narrative.
Every Black Life Matters (EBLM) recognizes that an evil heart can conjure almost infinite reasons to murder. In the instance of Tyre Nichols, shouldn’t officer training and appropriate protocols be considered? Shouldn’t recruitment, relaxed hiring practices, and psychological testing (or lack thereof) also be considered and reviewed?
There are no easy, convenient answers as to why Tyre Nichols was beaten to death by five police officers. A rush to embrace “racism” as the answer to this brutal murder does not prevent these types of senseless murders from happening in the future. Only a serious, systematic, and rigorous review of existing protocols and procedures (at every level of the department) will help prevent future rogue actions of officers.
Please join EBLM in praying for the Nichols family and friends. Please join us in condemning the five officers and demanding justice (maximum jail time and penalties) for the excessive use of force and grotesque brutality that caused Tyre’s death. Please join us in calling for the Memphis Police Department to rigorously review all policies, procedures, and recruitment and hiring and testing protocols to help ensure that Tyre’s murder will not be the first in a series. Please join us (www.everyblm.com) as we attempt to unite the country in the fight for liberty and justice for all!