Phillip Johnson

On being black in St. Louis:

One of the litany of sub stories we’ve heard since the death of Mike Brown is black women talking about the message or warnings they tell their black males when they go out. I think primarily, I couldn’t say for certain, if I am a black male traversing the city of St. Louis, not in commission of a crime, not with any warrants, not with any type of contraband on me, and you take a white person in that same situation, I think the police is invisible to that white person. And even probably, like with downtown where people go for baseball games, even if they are carrying beer, they are not going to feel a police presence on site. When they get their hair on the back of their neck that’s an indicator that they are sensing danger. And I’m saying being black, you constantly having your hair standing up merely because there is a general awareness that I don’t think you get as being a white person. That’s just at a baseline. The inherent difference [between proper policing and police brutality] is recognizing within the context of a dangerous job that every encounter is going to have its own baseline, and within that context, recognize the humanity of an individual.

On politics: 

Elections matter. And if you’re going to blame the white politicians for not doing anything you should blame these [black] folks too. Politics matter and I thinking holding politicians accountable matters.

Ferguson Is…Ferguson is a reflection of America.

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