by Eleanor Goldfield

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It’s the ultimate abusive relationship: the people and the state – the police like an exaggerated arm holding a cocked gun; saying it’s for your protection as you find yourself in its crosshairs. I mean really, it’s almost too cliché. From Fort Worth to Charlotte to DC, cops have been seen kneeling down before and/or after they violently attack protestors with tear gas. The only thing missing is a rose and a ring. Even members of the FBI felt the tug of performative wokeness, taking a knee as if they don’t represent the ultimate in domestic violence policy: from COINTELPRO to stalking and surveilling Black activists as part of the new and improved war on “black identity extremism.” Cue the Lifetime movie music.

It’s no accident that DC Mayor Muriel Bowser commissioned “Black Lives Matter” to be painted on 16th Street NW leading up to the White House right after police, including some of her own DC MPD, violently attacked protestors. It’s a shoddy attempt at a cover-up job, one that neither local black organizers nor their allies are buying. As activist and journalist Jacquie Luqman wrote recently:

Muriel Bowser doesn’t even like the Black people in her own city. This means nothing. It does nothing for us. It doesn’t help us. It doesn’t improve schools. Doesn’t get rid of the spouse abusing fascist top cop she loves so much [Police Chief Newsham]. Doesn’t stop gentrification of poor Black neighborhoods. Doesn’t improve affordable housing. Doesn’t change any of the lack of progress she has made on any of those things.”

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