If we’ve learned nothing else from the truly horrible year that is 2017, it’s that white supremacy will rear its ugly head virtually anywhere. According to reports, white supremacists are obtaining law enforcement positions at alarming rates, which is one of the scariest revelations for minorities, specifically black people.
To most black people, it comes as no surprise that there is an influx of white supremacy in law enforcement, as that has been long-thought to be the case for decades. However, according to a new report from The Root, this current infiltration has everything to do with the racist social climate, the current administration and the long-standing history of racism amongst law enforcement and black people.
Via The Root:
On Sunday’s ’60 Minutes,’ there was a profile of Christian Picciolini. After saying that he had suffered an angry childhood in Illinois and a life skinheadding, he said that he’d now dedicated his life to reforming other violent white supremacists. The most chilling part of the entire interview, however, was when Picciolini said this:
“You know 30 years ago, we were skinheads. We wore swastikas and shaved heads, and you could identify us pretty easily. So we decided at that time to grow our hair out, to trade in our boots for suits, and we encouraged people to get jobs in law enforcement, to go to the military and get training and to recruit there.”
In 2015 the FBI, itself a law enforcement agency, “quietly” investigated the white supremacist infiltration of law enforcement, according to an Intercept investigation from earlier this year. Two things stood out from that report. One, the FBI—under James Comey, mind you—has been reluctant to “publicly address that threat,” meaning that we’re all in the dark about how small or vast this problem is; that, and it has also been wary to “point out the movement’s long-standing strategy of infiltrating the law enforcement community.”
Perhaps even more disheartening than the fact that white supremacy is running rampant in law enforcement, is that there seems to be little hope of how to stop it and weed these severely racist individuals out.
In an interview with The Intercept, Pete Simi, who is an expert on white supremacy in the U.S. military, pretty much confirmed the difficulty. “Because of the decentralized way in which the thousands of police departments across the country operate, the historical affinity of certain police departments with the same racial ideologies espoused by extremists, and an even broader reluctance to do much about it.”
Long gone are the days when the majority of white supremacists sported skinned heads and swastika tattoos…now they could likely be apart of your local police force.
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