Officer Jakhary Jackson's recount on what it's like to be a black officer in the line of duty during a Black Lives Matter protest.
This video offers a different prospective on what it is like to be a black officer on the front lines of protests as a result of the recent deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. The video is long but worth the watch as the officer discusses how Black Lives Matter protests are being highjacked by non black people. Essentially the original message is being lost and buried behind the actions of those who purposely set out to cause destruction, disrupt the movement, and those who don't even know what they are protesting for.
Being black is NOT A TREND!
Officer Jahkary Jackson who is located in Portland, Oregon stated that he became a police officer to "change people's lives." He said that he wanted to make those connections with people and to save their lives through the help he could provide as an officer.
Officer Jackson then went on to state that the protests in Portland are being highjacked by people who either don't want to see real change along with individuals who "don't know what racism is." The people who don't know their history or what racism is are out in the protests doing and saying anything. Which chips away at the original message and goals of the protests. To read between the lines, if you choose not to watch the video the people he is referring to is white people.
There has been a surge in white americans attending protests, and at times it even appears that there are more of them in the crowd than black people or other minority groups. I have seen this for myself, I attending a protest in my hometown and was taken back to a certain extent when I surveyed the crowd and notice the overwhelming amount of white people in relation to blacks. I have nothing against white people who want to join the protests and help use their voices, but my question is and always has been, do they understand that these issue are deeper than George Flpyd and Breonna Taylor?
As I walked with the group of protestors I couldn’t get that question out of my mind as I saw white families with kids in strollers and toddlers walking. I respect the ones who attend peaceful protests for the right reasons, however, I take issue with the ones who treat my blackness like it is a trend, the ones who want to have black characteristics but not all of the struggle that comes with the black skin tone.
If you are in tune with social media, I’m sure you’ve witnessed the “fake allys/woke people/reposting posts people.” Somewhere along the line the fact that Black Lives Matter is getting washed away in the sea of nonsense these people are bringing to the movement.
Officer Jackson touches on this as he shares his experiences with white protestors. He says that often times black or other minority individuals try to come up to him to have a genuine conversation asking how he feels about what’s happening, given he's a black officer working at BLM protests. However, instead of being able to talk with the black or minority person a white person intervenes and makes slurs like “don’t talk to him, f the police.” He says he has endless accounts like this where a white person tells a black person not to talk to the police.
A white person, who has never experienced racism is at a BLM protest and is telling a black person not to talk to another black person because one is a cop. Clearly, those people who are engaging in these behaviors are both missing the point of the protest and are highjacking the movement. People tend to forget that not all cops are bad and racist and just because a cop is black and out doing his job at a protest doesn’t make him racist or anything else. Only his actual actions and words can determine that, which means you have to talk to them.
Officer Jackson also discussed how at a lot of the protests in Portland there are more black officers on duty at the protests than in the crowds. This actually is detrimental because what good does it do to have people protesting for a cause if they are uneducated on the issue or are going after black officers.
Officer Jackson recounts a time where a white protestor said to him “you have the biggest nose I’ve ever seen.”
The next issue is both a black and white issue as individuals from both sides make the following statement “black cops should quit their jobs because they are hurting the community.” I have seen and heard black people say that in different words, and makes statements that black cops aren't helping but instead are part of the problem.
I’ve even witnessed a black woman say she graduated from the police academy and how happy she was just to be met with dissent from another black person telling her congrats but this wasn't the time to be doing that.
People need to learn to differentiate between good and bad. There are good cops and bad cops.
Officer Jackson made a good point when he said the people alleging that black cops are hurting the community aren’t even from the community they are speaking on.
How can a white person tell a black cop not to be a police officer because police officers are racist? How can a white person tell a black person what they should do and how they should protest?
The most ignorant thing to tell a black officer is “if you’re a black cop then you’re not black,” which officer Jackson says has occurred. That totally dismisses the fact that black skin is black skin no matter the uniform, occupation, education, wealth, or popularity. This statement is also ignorant because for those who want to dismantle the police, who do you want to take their place? People that look like you?
We cannot allow our fight for equality and the end of police brutality against us to be highjacked by people who aren’t truly down for the cause.