All-White Washington State Tactical Officers Association (WSTOA)
Posted by Arroyoribera on October 3, 2007
As anyone knows who has looked at the way police discuss gangs and crime, the discussion is rife with statements like “the law is color blind” and “gangs and crime are not limited to any race or gender”.
The composition of the audience, presenter, the organizers, and the representatives of sponsoring organizations were overwhelmingly white. Who is talking to whom about what?
It is important to look at such statements as “the law is color blind”.
One does not hear that expression often if you are in a community of color. That is not what people of color say about law enforcement and the “justice” system.
Of course, it is what one hears from the purportedly “color blind” legal system when it is either attempting to defend itself against allegations of racism or from the actual law enforcement personnel attempting to justify their overwhelming presence in poor and minority communities.
Posts here have already looked at the way the Spokane Police Department likes to conceive of itself as well as the way that it presents itself to the public on its website and in other contexts.
The same should be asked of other law enforcement in the state of Washington. Who do they represent? Who do they recruit? Who do they protect? Whose side are they on? What sort of crime do they focus on?
Perhaps one of the best ways to get some perspective on these questions and the answers to them is to look at powder cocaine vs. crack cocaine. Studying this drug — cocaine — in these two forms and the differences in which crimes related to them are policed and adjudicated is a study in disparities of economic, class, racial and political justice in the US today. Much has been written over the real life consequences for individual, communities, and society as a whole as a result of an analysis of the differences between the policing techniques and sentencing guidelines used to deal with each. This ACLU report is but one of a multitude of studies and analyzes.
Take a look at the Washington State Tactical Officers Association…
Do you see any women? Do you see any African-Americans? Do you think there are many bilingual/bicultural individuals? Does this look like a group of guys that would be very inclined towards or good at Community-Oriented Policing?
Who is training whom for what?
Who is preparing for what against whom when and where?
Are they planning to serve in your community or against just one neighborhood of your community or perhaps go to work for Blackwater in Iraq?
You tell me…..
And now, ladies and gentleman, your 99.9% white/100% male Washington State Tactical Officers Association!
http://www.wstoa.org/training.html (Click on slide show below for 38 photos from the WSTOA website.)
Or perhaps go to work for Blackwater in Iraq… or New Orleans, or Detroit, or Venezuela, or Guatemala, or you tell me.