Robot Cops Are Racist, Too

Sperber, Elliott
http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/07/11/robot-cops-are-racist-too/

Publisher:  CounterPunch
Date Written:  11/07/2016
Year Published:  2016  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX19633

As an institution, the police is racist through and through -- irrespective of whether or not particular cops harbor racist views. This is because, among other reasons, as an institution the police is an appendage of the larger institution of property. And property, in the US at the very least, is inextricable from racist dispossessions, and reproductions, of wealth. That is, in addition to manifesting other aspects of domination, property is racist.

Abstract: 
-

Excerpt:

An institution the police is an appendage of the larger institution of property. And property, in the US at the very least, is inextricable from racist dispossessions, and reproductions, of wealth. That is, in addition to manifesting other aspects of domination, property is racist.

Not only does the term private (as in private property) derive from the verb “to deprive,” the historical deprivations of people’s commonly held lands (transformed into real property), and people’s very bodies (turned into chattels/personal property), have been justified since the late eighteenth century (when the pseudo-scientific notion of race was concocted) by racist ideologies. Forming the basis of wealth to this day, these relations are inseparable from the creation of the institution of the police department. In the US, as Kristian Williams and others have noted, the first police departments were specifically instituted to hunt runaway slaves – that is, to retrieve and secure runaway property. And, not unlike the case with slavery, the modern understanding and arrangement of the physical world as so many pieces of property (owned, secured by contracts, the courts, police, etc.) is inextricable from racist ideologies and practices.

Subject Headings