On Monday’s edition of CBS This Morning, attorney and director/founder of the Equal Justice Initiative Bryan Stevenson breaks down the history behind the perceived threat of Black males by cops, the history of racial discrimination in the nation, and the United States’ policing woes.
In his interview, the Ivy League-educated attorney recalls a time he was threatened by a cop during a traffic stop. He says a cop pulled him out of his car and “threatened to blow his brains out.”
Stevenson explains that neither education, intelligence nor respectability politics can stop police brutality.
“These shootings, in my judgment, are symptoms of a larger disease,” Stevenson states. “In this country, there are very few places where you can deal honestly with the history of slavery. There is no place where you can deal honestly with the history of terrorism. We actually haven’t dealt with all the resistance to integration. And we’re indifferent to this victimization of Black and brown people.”
“It’s unfair to burden Black and brown people in this country with the obligation to navigate police encounters safely,” Stevenson adds. “The burden is on you as a Black or brown person to make sure you say and do the things that avoid some tragedy, and that’s not right.”
“We’ve got too many police officers in this country who think of themselves as warriors, not as guardians.”