“How a whistleblower brought down Chicago police chief” by Jessica Lussenhop of BBC
“”That makes the whole episode look like an attempt by the city, the police and prosecutors to keep the video under wraps, knowing the political problems it would most likely create, writes the editorial board of The New York Times.”” (Page 5)
Literally: This quote describes the editorial board’s opinion on why the footage of Laquan McDonald’s murder went hidden for so long and the reason for it being hidden. Due to a lot of racial tensions in America as of late and throughout history, this event was all an attempt to keep the citizens of Chicago unaware so that there would be peace.
Intellectually: This quote makes me think that Mayor Emanuel and the police force wanted to establish trust between the public and the Chicago police force by keeping bad deeds covered. I strongly believe he wanted to lead citizens into feeling a sense of protection and security. This could work, especially if the citizens were not bombarded with the many injustices other civilians have faced against law enforcement. I also think the mayor thought the citizens will feel as though their voices were strong enough to spark a change within the procedural practices of the police force and even politically. This will cater to their ideas of democracy, thus boosting their confidence and causing them to comply with authority.
Emotionally: This quote makes me feel angry. I say this because if it took a whistleblower to uncover this brutal crime. When would they have decided to come forward with accurate information? Or any information at all? The government was more concerned about was keeping people “in line” while they protected the cold-blooded cop who murdered Laquan McDonald. They were more concerned about civil unrest instead of a cop abusing his authority and using excessive and unnecessary force on a civilian, armed with a knife or not.
Relationally: I will compare this quote to “A Public Menace” where Thomas Dixon Jr. felt it was necessary to put out a film where the account of history between Blacks and the Ku Klux Klan was inaccurate. He watered it down in order to paint White people in a better light and to shave down some of the tensions and censor some of the heinous acts committed against Black people. In a strange way, Dixon and Mayor Emanuel may have felt that hiding the harsh realities of Blacks and people of color in America would sooth them and protect the dominant society (mainly White people) from the possibility of rebellions and angry mobs taking over the streets.
“A Public Menace” by Dorian Lynskey
“Dixon’s previous work was so notorious that the civil rights groups tried to have The Clansman (it was retitled shortly afterward) banned before having seen it. It was, they claimed, both “historically inaccurate and, with subtle genius, designed to palliate and excuse the lynchings and other deeds of violence against the Negro.” (Page 4)
Literally: This quote is basically saying that Thomas Dixon Jr.’s work had been known to cause controversy. With The Clansman, a movie that was scheduled to be released in February of 1915, many people who fought for the equal and fair treatment of black people did not like the idea of it. As the quote says, they felt as though the film would downplay the atrocities black people faced in America and make it a minuscule event that took place in American history.
Intellectually: This quote makes me think about slavery and racism, obviously. For many years, the dominating society has often tried to passively and sometimes aggressively downplay a lot of the struggles that Black people went through in America. While it may have a lot to do with white guilt and a defense mechanism against actually dealing with the issue of racism, it may also have a lot to do with them continuing to see Black people as subhuman and unworthy of equal and fair treatment. I also feel as if these same injustices have been committed against white people, there would be an outcry from the dominant society.
Emotionally: This quote makes me feel disgusted. Why? Because it’s very frustrating and upsetting when people try to make slavery, racism, and the residual results of slavery a minute issue in America. I believe it’s a way of getting people to become complacent with the atrocities Black people faced in the United States. They slowly chip away at the significance and the brutality of acts committed against Blacks during that specific time period, and even the injustices Black people face in modern society.
Relationally: This quote relates to the previous article I spoke about called “How a whistleblower brought down Chicago police chief” by Jessica Lussenhop where the video of Laquan McDonald’s murder was hidden from the public for over a year. In “A Public Menace”, Dixon refused to portray the actual events that took place in history, specifically violent acts against Black people by the Ku Klux Klan. For one, the civil rights groups thought the release of this inaccurate flick would be an issue of public safety as it would probably cause an uproar. In the article about Laquan McDonald, the Chicago police department covered up Laquan’s murder and it took an anonymous source to come forward for the truth to come out. I also suspect that due to a rise in racial tensions, the Chicago police (in their mind) would also expect public outrage over the excessive and fatal force used against yet another person of color.
“White Anxiety: Rachel Dolezal, Dylann Roof and the Future of Race in America” by Nick Powers
“The riots in Ferguson and Baltimore over police killings of unarmed Black men has left politicians afraid. You see it in their raised eyebrows at news conferences. As cities ignite with protest and rioters burn stores and hurl rocks at police, the sense that any urban center can explode is beginning to spread.” (Page 3)
Literally: This quote is saying that due to the unnecessary violence against Blacks by law enforcement and even regular, but racist citizens, there has been many outcries in various states. Ferguson, Missouri has witnessed several riots in light of the murder of Michael Brown, a teenager who was shot and killed although his hands were in the air, and Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Maryland who died in police custody due to blunt force trauma. This has caused the “white anxiety” that the author talks about, where white people are constantly on edge every time an racially motivated incident happens.
Intellectually: This article makes me think the concept of white guilt. The collective or individualistic approach to coping with the wrong done to Black people throughout the course of history and even currently. In theory, if you have any type of conscience and you’ve done wrong to another person (collectively or individually), there would be an ounce of regret, or even constant worry that one day that person may seek revenge. Especially if you are habitually doing these things. It leads to anxiety. Anxiety is usually constant worry and a feeling of uneasiness, when more than likely, there are no dangers ahead. The anxiety comes from not knowing the who, what, where, why, when and how an attack may occur, if an attack were to occur at all.
Emotionally: This quote makes me feel vindicated. I personally believe that some White people do deserve to feel this way because of the fear and anxiety they’ve put into people of color for centuries. This is obviously not a shot at all white people, but those who still uphold the system of white supremacy and its ignorance against anyone who is different. I agree that a person should be made to feel anxious if they’ve always been known to treat an entire race unjustly. Any person with an iota of a conscience would and should feel terribly.
Relationally: I have found some similarities with this article and BBC’s “How a whistleblower brought down a Chicago police chief.” I’ve also found some in “A Public Menace” by Dorian Lynskey. I’ve explained before, but for the sake of this section, I’ll explain again. In the article about the whistleblower, the government and the Chicago police department decided to hide the murder of Laquan McDonald in an attempt to save themselves the headache of having to deal with social unrest and rioting in their communities. Perhaps this is where the idea of “white anxiety” comes in? Maybe the Chicago police believed they can just make this “thing” go away to save themselves the trouble of one, having to express sympathy for McDonald or two, having to criticize their own? In “A Public Menace”, Dixon’s work had been controversy for a long time and this lead to civil rights groups trying to have his film banned as a way to ward off public outrage and encourage public safety. It seems as though every is more vested in protected the powers that be instead of having an actual conversation about why there may be outrage instead of preventing one by hiding important information.