Robert “Liberation” White, The Black is Back Coalition

On Proper policing:

White man thinks he’s above the law, black man thinks he is below the law. Neither one of them respect the law. I think even in times of how certain communities are policies there is obviously a gap and not a lot of respect from the police coming from living in two different Americas and having two different experiences with the police. You’d have a bulk of the police officers coming from that immediate community. They’d have a stake in that community and that would change a lot of things. I know a lot of police departments have gotten away from residency requirements and I think that would make a big deal. Even the approach, not we are here to solve crimes, but we are here to prevent crimes. Protecting and serving. Who are you protecting and serving? Do I feel like I have a stake in that protect and serve? It would look drastically different.

On Protesting:

It has empowered people. An interesting thing about August the 9th is that you probably had people out there who didn’t even value their own life two weeks prior. But to see how the inhumane treatment of one of their brothers and thinking “damn that could have been me” awakened them to a sense of purpose. Some guys maybe would have been knuckle heads in the community. They’ve awakened to a sense of purpose of wanting to be more organized and wanting to be heard. 

Ferguson Is…America. America has some deep rooted issues. Going back and understanding that slavery was a major institution in America. Africans weren’t brought here willingly, so race will always be an issue. One of the things I liked to point out in regard to policing, the first encounter with policing from what I understand comes from the slave control. And then this was at the point of time when we were property not even humans. And slave owners justified our classification as property saying I can do whatever I want with how I treat my property. And then you look at how some of the officers moving after slavery were KKK riders by night. There has never been this kumbaya. This distrust and lack of respect on both sides supersede August the 9th. And that’s just one of the issues in America. The deep seeded issue.