The truth is I don’t know.
When I was growing up no one ever called me a racist. Then I joined the police and became institutionally racist without doing anything. It was not like driving where you had to pass a test to get the licence, you just became a fully paid up member no matter your race, creed or religion and there was no opting out.
There are obviously degrees of being racist and when you join the police they have a test to determine that.(see police racist test to the left). Depending on the number you see it will show just how racist you are. I will tell you what the results mean later.
The police also gave me a piece of wood or truncheon to hit “naughty” people with. It came with instructions which had to be memorised. I still remember the directions now. “Only to be used on people of colour and should be turned up to full, police, brutal mode”.
Then, various groups and individuals started shouting that I was racist, the main stream media told me every day that I was racist and eventually Facebook began saying it as well, which of course means it must be true.
This went on until I retired. On the day I left I had to hand in my warrant card, uniform and my paid up racist membership. No one was shouting at me any more and as far as I know Facebook thinks I am OK now and I don’t need retraining.
As I am now retired I can tell you the truth of what happened during my 30 years in the police and just how racist they really are.
I joined in 1979 which was a time when correctness of any form did not exist. Political correctness was still learning doggie paddle in the primordial soup and would not be pulled out by the tree huggers for years. There were certainly plenty of “Northern Men” who believed in dragging women back to their man caves by their hair and believed it was their right to call a “spade a spade”. It was a different time and most people were unaware they were causing offence and did not know what being racist was. On the other hand some people were overtly racist but were never challenged over their actions. Yes, we can look back now and say how wrong it was but at the time it was seen as being “normal”. I have no doubt that in another thirty years or so we will be looking back with hindsight and shaming people for something people believe is normal now.
As a police officer there were differences when you spoke to different people. In general it was a lot harder to speak to a young black person, especially if they were with friends. They would instantly be defensive and aggressive in the way they spoke. It may be a badge of honour but it is also a cultural thing. It does not mean the confrontations were physically aggressive but there was always a feeling of us and them. Police officers had historically been used to a respectful public and for the first time they were being spoken to in a way they were not used to. Police reacted as they normally do. They reflect what they were shown and became more aggressive back. It became self perpetuating and barriers were being built. Getting through those barrier was and is difficult. It has taken generations and we are still miles apart… on both sides. Will talking change it. I don’t know but I suspect integration in schools, jobs, relationships and life experiences will do more. We need to grow together and to grow up but it takes time.
The MacPherson report told me and everyone I worked with that we were racist. We even had special one off open and frank discussions in training about it. When I say open and frank we were told we could say what we thought but if anyone said anything perceived (now that is a BIG word) to be racist they would be reported or sacked! That was the end of that discussion. No one dare say anything at all. The whole of that training day went by without anyone speaking. Still to this day officers are scared to talk about racism for fear of being sacked if they put the comma in the wrong place.
Like most things it has gone totally the other way. There still hasn’t been a “open and frank discussion” but we have a Black Police Association as well as many other divisive associations. What you won’t see is a White Police Association. It is not allowed and anyone trying to set it up will be sacked. Personally I do not believe in having any groups in the Police. We should not be political in any way. We are there as one family to uphold the law and that does not mean taking the knee or expressing any impartial views. When I see senior officers promoting one group above another I see them creating problems for officers on the beat. People read these posts and tweets and believe the police are biased.
George Floyd’s death and the protests that followed changed so much, not for the better and made me think. In a way the reaction to it by some groups is the one thing that has pushed me, not towards being racist, but towards being prejudice. There needs to be conversation but instead some people are doing a whole lot of shouting and using it to be violent and make money. The real problems are being overlooked.
I am not so stupid as to think the current movements like BLM and violence against authority in the UK are a reflection of what the vast majority of the public of any colour think.
In my opinion those who are shouting, being violent and making outrageous demands are causing more damage to race relations in this country than any movement that has gone before. I hear a lot of noise but I don’t see anyone who can actually talk.
I see violence and anger because a man in another country was killed. That man was black and the police officer white. Why does what happens in America cause violent protests here? Why are people being told if you don’t take the knee you are racist. What will taking the knee and holding your fist up do that talking can not do better? Why are police in the UK targets? It just hits me as ironic that you see police standing there behind shields with bricks, petrol bombs, bicycles and almost every object imaginable being thrown at them but the placards shout “police brutality”, “I can’t breath” and “black lives matter”. Tell me anywhere at anytime when police have ever said “black lives or any life come to that, don’t matter”.
On TV today I saw a young black political activist being interviewed and saying why “Rule Britannia” should not be sung at the proms. He was doing this whilst displaying a teddy bear throwing a petrol bomb on this T-shirt. When has throwing a petrol bomb ever been depicted as a non violent, legal action. Why has that become acceptable?
About 80 police officers are assaulted each and every day in Britain and there are far less police than black people. If 80 black people were assaulted every day there would rightly be outrage yet police are expected to take it as part of their job. The same people shouting and assaulting the police are also the first to shout “police brutality” because an officer looked at them wrongly.
Let us quickly look at stop and search. The reason why police search people is for no other reason than to prevent crime. Why does that cause problems? People are happy with searches at an airport when they are going on holiday or even to gain entry to a nightclub but not when the police do it. You may argue that it is because police use it against black people. That argument is used again and again and again by those who want it removing from the police tool bag of protecting people. Look at this blog here and I will show why those figures are misleading and wrong.
Then you get the various back activists, MP’s and even black police officers who make mountains out of mosquito bites all for their own political or monetary gain. The trouble is, they are listen to and this causes yet more violence and hatred toward a police. These are the very people that protect their right free speech. The only people who are not allowed free speech are the police themselves who, like a punch drunk fighter, stagger under the constant blows but offer no defence. Instead they shoot themselves in the foot by actually praising these same groups on social media or taking the knee.
As an ex police officer and someone who has not only lived through the many changes in society and attitudes to racism I have to wonder. Why are the police the only group who are institutionally racist? The NHS and doctors kill far more people than the police ever have. If you look at mistakes in the NHS the deaths each year run into thousands. Imagine a Harold Shipman in the police. It would not be him that was to blame.. it would be the whole of the police service and every officer would be tarred with the same brush.
So, what number did you see in the colour blind test at the beginning. Probably the same as most police officers. There are no numbers as the police are, or should be blind to colour and only see the criminal in there.
I have always believed that everyone should have the same opportunities. At the moment it appears that some groups want everything to be given to them without working for it. The trouble is I see a woke country giving in… statues, television programs, radio, press and the government are taking the knee and most do not know why or what it stands for.
I think that no one is born racist so those beliefs have to be learnt. That could be from family, friends the job or … from those trying to ram beliefs down your throat and calling you racist if you do not agree. More than anything in my life, watching and listening to groups like BLM has tainted my view. Not of black people, but against various groups whose aim is anarchy.
Law and order is so called for a reason. The police are there to keep us in a world we understand and feel safe in. They are there for everyone, to protect the lives of everyone and the way of life of everyone.
Being racist is now finding a different meaning. It is beginning to stand for those who have a different view to those wanting anarchy. We are told if you are silent then that makes you complicit. If you do not agree to everything that is said to you by groups, if you refuse to take the knee, if you refuse to de-fund the police, if you have your own opinion then you are racist.