Photo from "Birth of a Nation" movie (Fox Searchlight)

This nation is a lie.

It is hypocrisy, a nation built upon violence that condemns those that use violence.

There is an innate hypocrisy in condemning black individuals for targeting police. The hypocrisy lies in the fact most of those that condemn these individuals refuse to condemn the violence of this nation, or the violence of larger white society. In fact, they support and many times celebrate such violence. And if you do indeed condemn both, one must vigorously condemn the root violence that caused such a reaction, the root violence of this nation’s larger white society.

The vast majority of Americans celebrate violence against “oppression” every year. It’s called the Fourth of July. The Fourth of July is the celebration of white Americans to rise up arms against what they labeled tyranny. The hypocrisy started when the founding fathers declared “all men were created equal” while owning slaves and building a nation on stolen land and murder. So why do these very same people consider it morally reprehensible for black Americans to do so?

That is hypocrisy at the highest level — this nation was built on the blood and bodies of black and native people and gave this nation’s white population amazing wealth. It is great wealth that black and native people did not benefit from, but was violently stolen from them.

Recognizing this great hypocrisy does not mean you cannot feel for the loss of life, or mourn the loss of life, even if one does not condemn officers losing their life. I do not want to see anyone die; the loss of the lives of those in Dallas was tragic.

Something important to also recognize is that white men are responsible for the vast majority of police officers killed. Yet, no one claims that white men are targeting or waging a war on police. This is part of a long history of white violence being acceptable, but those that fight back against the violence of this nation, and its larger white society, are condemned.

It is also important to note that people would not condemn the violence of an individual that is being abused to stop the abuser. And not condemning that violence does not mean one is advocating for an individual to lash out in violence. But they hold a deep understanding of where such a reaction comes from.

If you don’t know by now, black America is currently under attack and abused, and has been under attack and abused for over the past 400 years by white America … by America.

The real crime, the root crime, is the violence of the larger white society. If this violence were not taking place, these people would be alive, and these officers that were lost and deemed a national tragedy would still be alive.

If the violence of larger white society did not take place, countless murdered indigenous and black Americans would be alive and our prisons would be empty, black Americans wouldn’t experience concentrated poverty, higher rates of homelessness, police brutality and murder, and much more.

The police are the face of white supremacy, the face of this violence, the violent enforcement of it, the Blue Shirts of the Amerikkkan Republic, the point of the spear, if you will.

Let’s not forget that the institution of police can be drawn back to slave catchers and as a way to oppress black Americans. With laws and initiatives launched that target black people, such as the war on drugs. But the racist roots are still present, for example, Minneapolis police union chief is part of a racist biker gang, the FBI warned in 2006 of white supremacist infiltration of law enforcement, and let’s not forget that the FBI itself was run by a white supremacist for much of its existence. Institutions aren’t people, but people make up institutions.

Any violence by black Americans towards the white power structure is reactive, or derivative violence. It’s violence that is in reaction to white America. And regardless of perception, overwhelmingly, black Americans have not been violent when facing this long and incredible history of violent oppression. Although there are occasions where there has been violence in this reaction.

The question of “should police killings by black Americans be condemned?” is not an intellectually honest question. What the real question one is asking is if someone believes that black Americans have the right to use violence to protect themselves from the violence being accosted upon them by agents of the state.

“This nation also answers this question every day in how it justifies the murders of black Americans. It seems that the only time violence isn’t the answer is when black and brown Americans (or black and brown people of any nation, for that matter) decide to fight back. This is the hypocrisy, the lie of white society that the only justified violence is their violence.”

White America unabashedly claims the right to self-defense; this nation’s foreign policy is one of power projection and self-defense. The question of “should violence be used to defend one’s self in the face of violence?” is a question this nation answers every day through drone strikes, targeted assassinations, coups, pre-emptive strikes, and more.

This nation also answers this question every day in how it justifies the murders of black Americans. It seems that the only time violence isn’t the answer is when black and brown Americans (or black and brown people of any nation, for that matter) decide to fight back. This is the hypocrisy, the lie of white society that the only justified violence is their violence.

People are hiding from the true history of this nation in shame. It is the unwillingness to talk about the true violence of this nation, and bury it in textbooks, and not teach our children about this violence.

Until we are serious and take massive steps to address the root crime, the greater crime, this nation and white society have no place in condemning any violence that derives from their violence which includes Jim Crow, massive red lining, systematical ghettoization, robbery, lack of investment and resources, and much more.

Every drug dealer or gang member is a symptom, a result of white supremacy. They are a product of that evil; they are a reflection of that evil, a derivative evil.

In looking at white society, we can come to the conclusion that more police officers don’t equal safety. Instead, this safety comes from resources — the safest communities in the United States have resources, not police patrolling all the time. Police respond to their needs, they don’t patrol the people living in the neighborhood and see those citizens as potential criminals, but, instead, people to protect.

Police/law enforcement are not a vital institution, they are not the line keeping this nation from chaos and order. If we address the root causes of poverty and patriarchal white supremacy, much of what we claim we need police for will no longer would exist. It’s time to divest.

If we have the will to address many of the root problems, we won’t need people that are armed, wear bulletproof vests, and ride around in patrol cars. But, instead, respond to violent situations with the appropriate amount of force. Much of what we claim we need police for can be addressed, without using the police. We need to disarm and disbanded our police forces and invest in our communities.

We can create different investigative, social, and mental health resources to deal with crimes that end up being committed after we address these root causes. Police are not preventative forces, they are reactionary. We don’t need minimally trained forces, riding around with weapons in our neighborhoods that are legally allowed to beat and kill when they are scared.

We should have mental health first responders. We should have highly trained forces to deal with violent situations. We should have social workers responding to scenes. Many other shifts can be made, not this “masters of none” approach we have now.

This all also explains why we must move beyond preaching and teaching our youth to comply with oppression. Doing this is the equivalent of telling women not to dress a certain way to not get raped. You don’t target the behavior of those being targeted by violent oppression; you target those doing the oppressing. It’s a moral imperative to do so. The problems are deep and go beyond individuals and the institutions themselves. We must shift power and deconstruct these institutions.

This society — the larger white society — has no moral ground to stand on to condemn any violence because it stands on a mountain of bones and blood. This country is one of the greatest purveyors of violence in the history of humans.

Police are just one institution, and addressing that institution won’t solve the problems of white supremacy in this nation. We must look at the larger picture and in doing so it should become increasingly clear that we must build new institutions in this nation. The legal framework our institutions are built on must change for this to happen. We must re-imagine who we are as a nation and start anew.

Our institutions are built upon these legal frameworks, so we must imagine and create new ones. In fact, one could argue that nothing is more American than starting over, than realizing the fatal faults in our legal framework and institutions and creating something new. It’s why this nation moved away from the Articles of Confederation; they were failing the country.

The choice is yours, as right now more anti-police violence is indeed a certainty. If you truly support all lives you will invest and deconstruct, or more violence will come. This is not a threat, but a warning, a prediction of the dangers of this current path.

Remember white America, John Fitzgerald Kennedy even said, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”

But looking at a new legal framework is the long vision. In the short term, this city has a choice to invest. It seems those most opposed to addressing issues in our police department are also opposed to investing in communities, or fail to speak out when we spend millions on Judge Doyle Square, bike paths, opening a new police department station, and on everything else this city spends money on instead of investing in the communities that need it most.

We must make it a priority to shift power and to invest.