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Michael Eric Dyson To White People: Police Won’t ‘Kill Your Child’

Michael Eric Dyson is an American public intellectual who speaks out on issues that impact black people and their community.  He is a professor, commentator and the author of more than a dozen books on race, politics, and the African-American experience.  Dyson draws on his experience and journey from being a former Detroit gang member, factory worker and unwed father to become an ordained minister and earn his master’s and doctorate degrees from Princeton University.

The publishing of the books Making Malcolm: The Myth and Meaning of Malcolm X and Between God and Gangsta Rap helped launch Dyson into the spotlight and established him as a heavy hitter in African American thought.  He is taught at some of the country’s most prestigious universities including Brown University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia.

He has hosted his own self-titled, syndicated radio show where he addresses social, cultural and political issues from a contemporary vantage point.

The events that have unfolded in Ferguson, Missouri over the last few weeks over the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by white police officer Darren Wilson has prompted many people to speak out about the fact that cops kill a black person every 28 hours.  Dyson recently addressed the issue and called on President Barack Obama to use his position and stature to explain to white people what the black experience with cops is like.

In an appearance on CBS, Dyson specifically called on Obama to tell the truth about why black people are hurt, angry and upset about the violence perpetrated on them by police.  Dyson specifically requests that Obama address, “Especially white people, whose white privilege obscures them from what it means that their children can walk home and be safe, they’re not fearful of the fact that somebody will kill their child…”

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Christine

40 Comment

  1. This right here is why I absolutely live Michael Eric Dyson…..He never fails to make it plain. I agree wholeheartedly!!!! I love my POTUS, but damn it he has spoken out on every other racial groups issues….We deserve as much if not more. Where U At Mr. President!!!!!

  2. It is time for President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder to put some new laws in place when it comes to Policing in the
    Black community. 1.All police officers should be required to wear video/cameras. 2. All cops should be psychologically tested each and every year to see if they are fit to maintain their jobs. 3. All officers should be take a test that involves how they feel about African
    Americans; this does not exclude Black cops.

  3. He has shared the truth. His truth and mine. It is past time for POTUS to demonstrate his stance on the truth of police brutality and the inhumane criminal justice system. Speak up Obama. You can't be reelected so please speak up!

  4. This is one of the many, many reasons why I absolutely LOVE this man!

  5. I agree with Mr Dyson has to say.

  6. Mr. Dyson is a very intelligent man and therefore has the capability to spin the truth anyway he wants to and make it sound legitimate. And, although I usually agree with a lot he has to say, I totally disagree with him on this particular position.

  7. I respect Mr. Dyson for his views with are usually right on point and based on the facts. However, on this particular issue I disagree with his premise even though it sounds good. Let me first say that anyone who has had a child killed in America by the police would like the President to step in and show “Leadership”. I screamed for this myself when I read about the hundreds of young Black men being killed in the Presidents home town of Chicago. But I’ve come to learn that the reality of the situation is that the President cannot and should not respond to an intense situation every time one develops. He did this in the Trayvon Martin case and was ridiculed for doing so. True leadership takes into consideration all sides of a situation before making judgment. True leadership does not make a knee jerk reaction to every situation that pops up on the six o’clock news. True Leadership allows the process take it course and allow all sides to calm down and get the facts straight. Nelson Mandela who was imprisoned for 27 years by the South Afrikan police was eventually released. Once he got out he did not tell his followers to kill all the white people and take back the land. He instead had discussions with the white leadership on the best way to get rid of apartheid and elect new leaders. President Obama has to show wisdom similar to Mandela’s when it comes to making decisions. He must make well though out calculated moves that clearly demonstrate that he has thought the entire situation through. He made the right decision by sending in Eric Holder to negotiate a temporary truce. But he has too much on his plate to be jumping up and down every time a young man gets killed by the police in this country. He is currently juggling three wars with a possible fourth on the way. immigration backlash, healthcare backlash, and most important a relentless non committed Congress. His so called “bully pulpit” is tilting over and on the verge of falling down all together. He has to be careful for hear on out in addressing very complicated, and/or controversial issues. In the mean time he should use VP Biden more to be the face of his administration when it come to bad news.

  8. This bigotry is like a cancer burning through the American landscape. The animosity aimed at the very people who were stolen and shipped here, forced into slavery and 'emancipated' is way overdue for a cure. Get it together America, we're here to stay.

  9. Speaking as a member of an organization that primarily focuses on rebutting hate speech against the diverse white American peoples, we have found that we can change more of the attitudes of the diverse white Americans (which is part of our job) by discussing many of these issues as varieties of supremacy. The term "racism" seems more satisfying to many members of many demographic affinity groups, but to make the diverse white people understand a portion of the situation, instead of just to turn away, if these things (when directed to white Americans) can be expressed in the language of supremacy, the level of understanding will zoom upward. So it kind of depends on how much of the situation you want to be understood by white Americans, I'm not even saying you should. But so many articles emphasize the difficulty of communicating with white Americans, think about explaining it in the language of supremacy.

    The delicious part of that is that it will put self-appointed "allies" and closed-minded "haters" into the same bag, called "supremacists."

  10. You can't train cops or anyone to value black life, so Id like to add more things Obama and Holder should do; 4) STOP RACIAL PROFILING NATION-WIDE no matter the name used i.e., stop and frisk in NY; the traffic stop initiative in Milwaukee (my home) – it must be called what it is racial profiling which is illegal in this country ENFORCE IT! 5) Police that kill unarmed black boys/men/people or any unarmed person should be immediately arrested, suspended without pay, once proven guilty go to prison for the rest of their life! If unintentional charge with manslaughter and still go to jail!

    Strong decisive penalties will be effective for most, there will still be crazies. Most of the white population can't even relate to our reality in this country, because of their white privilege. So strong effective legislation and equally strong enforcement is overdue!

  11. Dr. Dyson has spoken to the core of the issue. I live in a predominately white suburb and see unruly teens all the time who are able to be disruptive at Station Plaza, skateboard down the middle of Woodbine and Geyer, steal sodas from the restaurants and still make it home alive for dinner. The truth – white mothers never have to worry about a fearful white policeman gunning down their child for jaywalking and subsequently a bigoted police department attempting to posthumously degrade that teen's character. White mothers have not this reality. Honor a truth not your own.

  12. There aer lots of SOLUTIONS to this as Brenda writes above. Here's more: 1. Far better SCREENING of cops hired (how many of them are NOT FIT tohave this sort of power without abusing it?) 2. Far better TRAINING–so, "shoot first" is NOT the primary response to any kind of conflict. 3.CIT/Crisis Intervention Training for ALL cops–not just these CIT teams, so, that police deal with mentally ill people differently(now they just get brutalized or shot). 4.Dashbord camerals on cop cars & lapel cameras on cops. 1st time a cop says their camera didn't work, they get 3 months UN-PAID suspension, 2nd time or next time there's any kind of complaint of them abusing civilian, FIRED 4. INDICT INDICT INDICT police who seriously assault or kill un-armed people. 5. DEPT. OF JUSTICE SHOULD ALWAYS INVESTIGATE ALL SERIOUS BRUTALITY OR MURDER BY POLICE
    For more on what everyday people have been dong on this issue THE STOLEN LIVES PROJECT…THE OCTOBER 22ND movementto End Police Brutality & the Crimnalization of a Generation. In Minneapolis-St.Paul,MN: COMMUNITIES UNITED AGAINST POLICE BRUTALITY http://www.cuapb.org

  13. Love an intelligent articulate black man who can hold his own and speak our truth in the midst of a polarized white mainstream media

  14. He forgets the white parents who have black children. We are in fear too. I live in constant fear for my son… where he goes, who he encounters, how he might react, how he is treated… and he is only 10. My fear for him grows with every birthday. Mothers should feel joy on your child’s birthday, not the horror that they may be closer to a brutal and unjust end. Members of my family actually live in Ferguson, but this fear is everywhere. #BlackLivesMatter

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