LETTER: Black and blue bruises


Editor: A bruise indicates an injury on that is deeper than the surface.

My heart ached when I read Emily Washburn’s article in Forbes. It read: Tyre Nichols, 29, died of excessive blood loss on January 10, three days after two confrontations with Memphis police following a traffic stop for reckless driving.

Five officers—Taddarius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmit Martin III, Desmond Mills, Jr and Justin Smithwere—were fired on January 20 and indicted by a grand jury Thursday after investigations by the police department, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Shelby County District Attorney’s Office and FBI found them “directly responsible” for Nichols fatal injuries.

When I see this, when the community and law enforcement see this, the first thing that stands out is, the accused officers are all African American, THIS TIME. And, it gives leave for many to say it’s not a racial issue at all. But, to many including myself, the overall picture remains a racial issue in that the vast majority of incidents of this kind is white on black. We aan’t ignore the significance of this tragedy and at the same time we can not let this issue become a distraction or cloud the bigger picture.

What it does bring to light is that while the majority of law enforcement is genuinely dedicated to serve and protect, there is a sub-culture within law enforcement. It has a foundation deeply rooted in the primitive, Barbaric nature of man.   

Those who are dedicated law officers, as well as the community, find it difficult to respond in the eyesight of each other in a way that condemns this nature, or this culture without somehow tainting law enforcement as a whole; a sense of throwing out the baby with the water.

The fact that these officers were black, highlights how deeply entrenched this sub-culture is within law enforcement. So much so, that it sometimes penetrates and goes far beyond the color of our skin on either side of the issue. Something inside the soul or heart that unleashes the anger from all that we experience in life and we hate but can’t escape. Then it’s expressed in an out of control, violent attack on subconscious opportunity to get relief of a stored up anger, stored for years or even a lifetime.

Bottom line: It can be fatal when we rely on self control when SELF is broken, wounded and without hope in the situation we call life.

— Pastor Thomas Mayes, via [email protected]

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Michael L Moore
Michael L Moore
1 month ago

This case highlights systemic racism. Perpetrators of systemic racism do not align with race. Rather, it is society saying it’s more ok to abuse a person of color. That’s it!

Critical thought on how racism is embedded in human interaction is not a liberal idea if a person wants to see things through the eyes of another. That’s humanity – not liberal or conservative, just human!

One of the things I notice today is that a lot of people don’t care about the perspective of another person. I believe we owe it to our fellow citizens to ask ourselves whether white people would be satisfied if young white men were killed by police for traffic violations at the same rate as young black men. You don’t have to be “woke” to think this is a valid concern.

Good Citizen
Good Citizen
1 month ago

Interesting comment. I think you are correct in your assumption that racism is embedded in human interaction. In addition, history teaches us that human beings enjoy killing people, with police being no exception. It appears important that every individual provides self-protection for themselves. The police have or will reach a point in which they discover that everyone, regardless of color, will take every legitimate opportunity to defend themselves against all thugs, including those “employed” by the state.