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Dallas Police Shooting: Blowback from Impunity and Structural Racism


Dallas Police Shooting: Blowback from Impunity and Structural Racism

Kevin Gosztola

Five police officers in Dallas are dead after a shooting, which took place toward the end of a peaceful demonstration on July 7. The protest was a response to the gut-wrenching acts of police violence, which killed Philando Castile in Minneapolis and Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge.

A suspect, according to Dallas Police Chief David Brown, is also dead. Twenty-five year-old Micah Johnson was cornered by police for hours until police sent in a “bomb robot” and detonated an explosive that killed Johnson.


The shock of this tragedy is reverberating across the country. Good police officers are shocked and frightened by the attack. A family member of mine is a good cop. He's the type of person you want when you call for help. I would venture a guess that most are good cops but I also bet the good cops know who the racist and aggressive ones are. If they are tired of taking the heat from acts of violence by the few maybe they should break from the "brotherhood" that exists and out those people. It could be done anonymously and they could begin to clean up the departments and help clear their names.
But make no mistake, if the injustice in this country doesn't change people of color won't be the only ones in the streets. HRC just walked away from doing illegal things with no repercussions and an endorsement from the president.
The feelings of injustice are countrywide. Racism is real and it extends to the poor as well. Oppression causes rebellion, poverty causes crime, inequality touches our soul and takes a piece out of our hearts.
This country must change to survive and platitudes from people like Lynch and Obama just make it worse. Shut up and do something. Police work for you, control them or fire them. You know what to do, do it.


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Variations of the following theme DOMINATE the MSM and pass for its "news" analysis:

"There is a fundamental problem with this suggestion. As Center for Constitutional Rights Director Vincent Warren has eloquently stated, “To present the situation as mutual distrust not only obscures the specific causes of that distrust—it intimates that everyone is equally responsible for the problem.”

That is why I challenge the WE-meme... it is SET UP to turn responsibility into a generic component that belongs to all citizens when very real and identifiable ACTORS are directly responsible.

The same underlying logic worked for the following:

  1. Bailing out the big banks because "they were too big to fail" rather than putting the Glass-Steagall Wall back in place along with other necessary remedial acts (so that banks could not continue to GAME the global economy and gamble with citizens' money, including their life savings, home equity, etc.)

  2. Hearing Obama wax lyrical (while visiting Japan's post-bomb sites) about a day when nuclear weapons will no longer threaten the world while HE, personally, earmarks $1 trillion (set over the next 10 years) to develop an entire NEW legion of nuclear arms.

  3. Listening to news accounts that make it seem that Black Men (and a few woman--like Sandra Blane) just "happened" to die in custody because "an arm came around them" or "a shot was fired." These frames completely separate the ACTOR from the ACT.

I have found the SAME type of Talking Point used in these message threads on a daily basis. They are designed to blanket over the acts of very real individuals and entities and replace their direct culpability with the supposed GUILT of all citizens.

But then, a media that worked diligently to make a case for war against a People/Nation that had NOTHING to do with 911, and was ready to make the false case that Assad gassed his own people--to open the gates to Hell/War in Syria, and also insists that Putin is the aggressor in Ukraine is not going to traffic in something as cumbersome as TRUTH!

There are now legions of persons employed to similarly blanket Internet sites with false messaging.


Amy Goodman interviewed a charismatic young man who just wrote a book about this subject. I don't have the statistics in front of me, but he cited something along the lines of 4500 civilians killed by police in the past decade. And of that number, only about 67 went to court/trial, and from that limited pool, less than TEN were punished in any meaningful manner.

So there is a culture of impunity.

Remember when it wasn't the soldiers who enacted brutality, but rather the person of conscience (Chelsea Manning) who reported on it... who was punished?

There's a case where instead of the cops who beat the Black man to death, the guy who videotaped it is being forced to serve prison time!

I make a lot of noise about this idea that "Mars rules" or that in a society based on force & domination, those who identify with these expressions tend to get a free pass while those who challenge the morality, utility, and ultimate result of those approaches are intensely punished.

This is true in the case of Julian Assange, Jeffrey Sterling, John Kiriakou, Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, and others.

Power does NOT want to be held to account.

Power now controls the media which churns up consistent FALSE narratives.

Power has learned from the gurus of Psychology hired by PR firms and think tanks how to REVERSE premises so that the perpetrators of crimes are exalted while those who CALL OUT what they do... are punished when not silenced, discredited, or rendered invisible.

This pattern is all over.

Women who decry violence (Gabrielle Giffords and the recent killing of the female member of Parliament in the U.K) are shot in the face because maniacs are afraid that these persons of conscience will take their precious guns away.

It is all MADNESS because too many leading the pack off the cliff deeply identify with the preposterous logic of M.A.D (Mutually Assured Destruction).

I think a solid argument can be made that it's M.A.D. that creates a climate that puts a billion guns out on the streets (in the U.S) while raising the temperature literally--through global warming, and emotionally--through the stresses of lousy wages as costs of living always rise).

And it's M.A.D. to arm an unstable world, make billion dollar deals with dictators (like the Saudi royals) and virtually ensure that conflicts will spread.

The elites DO want to see a massive population reduction. They may in fact be spawning a race war inside the U.S. right now while also bludgeoning 6 Middle East nations and thereby creating such a paucity of necessary infrastructure, and such an impossible refugee problem as to accomplish their diabolical ends by seemingly "natural" means.


Excellent, clear analysis from Gosztola.


I agree, up to his closing paragraph. It's mortifying that someone of his intelligence would BUY the Official 911 fairy tale:

"Like the blowback against American superpower, which brought about the September 11th attacks, there will continue to be blowback against police so long as officers in departments throughout the country keep engaging in horrific acts of violence and oppression against minority communities."

Blow-back had NOTHING to do with 911. However, since the architects used 911 to spread terror (and destruction) far and wide, indeed, there IS blow-back now! They caused the thing they alleged to correct... straight out of the Shock Doctrine (Problem--Reaction--Solution) playbook.


Thanks for reading.


Policing in the United States is about protecting capitalism. It is racial because capitalism disproportionately forces poor and working class Americans of color into poverty. They are dispossessed and discarded by the economy and cannot find work. The austerity of government must be confronted along with the violence of police, who mostly are able to operate with total impunity.


When police kill a black person: It's a tragedy; we need to have candlelight vigils and a conversation.

When a black person kills an officer: It's horrific and despicable; they respond by bombing him, with no option of taking him to trial.

Bill Clinton's "national dialogue" about racism set a bad precedent to treat police murders as abstractions, unfortunate, but along the lines of having a delay in the DMV processing your title.

Conversation will not only not solve the issue, but police unions have intentionally made it impossible for citizens to participate in investigations or remediation..

Training will not only not solve the issue, but it is an insult. When a cop shoots someone who is already face down on the ground with hands cuffed behind their back, the problem isn't that they didn't show a video in police academy on the importance of not behaving this way.

Legislation needs to take away the power of the police unions to hush up cop crimes and form a wall against justice.


In a sense, you present nothing new. And I think the status quo of highlighting the injustices against afrcan Americans while ignoring those against white Americans -- based on rates -- is a mistake. Part of the the old paradigm, that is going to have to pass even if our goal starts off as just wanting to protect african Americans and help more of them thrive.

Part of the problem -- calling this "political violence" but when the perp is white (or Muslim, depending on the media), calling mass killings terrorism or mass shootings.

There are more white folks killed by cops, even if the likelihood for black folks is 2.5 times higher. Yet there is pretty much NO media coverage. What message does that send? To a demographic that has seen incomes, opportunities, and now even lifespans decreasing? To a demographic that has been pitted against black people by the same system for centuries? There is structural racism against white folks too, perhaps now more than ever. Not the same in many ways, but same in some and similar in others.

It is also difficult to have an honest discussion about the role of racism in these cases. For a demographic that has 5x the murder rate of white folks, being killed 2.5x as often by the police may still be disproportional but it is also the only angle hyped by some pundits and media. And sure, it is wrong to type all people as more homicidal based on those stats -- yet don't we also stereotype white people? Based on the less wealthy less educated who have been pitted against blacks, or based on the 1%? The poorest half of white Americans, about 100 million people, have less than half the wealth (2%) of the nation's 47 million african Americans (2.3%) and 55 million hispanic-Americans (2.7%) combined. To typify all white people as privileged ignores the vast differences in privilege among whites, and the vast similarities between many people regardless of color.

You note towards the beginning that black folks were killed 2.5x more than white folks, but, as is typical of the one-sided, division-promoting, elite-protecting reporting on this topic -- even among many prgoressives -- you choose not to present the fact that that still means that 2x more whites were killed. You also misquote the article; it is not that there were more shootings by police in the first 6 months of 2016 than all of 2015, it is that there have been more shootings OF police in the first 6 months of this year. Biased reporting plays a role in the Dallas shootings too, and it plays right into the hands of those who are willing to sacrifice love and life and liberty on main street to better serve wall street. Are you aware of the videos of police shooting unarmed white men? Yet no press, no mention, no sense of outrage, injustice, or compassion for their families and friends.


To this and your excellent article, I'll add that many at the tip of the capitalist pyramid are getting pretty worried about pitchforks. One of their remedies is to foment a race war to keep eyes off of them.


Powerfully stated, Dede. I'm with you.


For those interested in further reading (or listening), I just posted an interview I produced for my weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure," with the co-editors of a book called "Policing the Planet: Why the Policing Crisis Led to Black Lives Matter."

It confronts the links between austerity and policing and can be found here.


You are correct in suggesting Whites killed by the police too and it does not get the same airplay.

This suggests to me the reactions to such shootings by the people are being fueled and directed by the media and the deep state.. This does not deny the fact there institutional and societal racism . It my opinion that same deep state trying to drive this hysteria is counting on that racism.

I would point out just as example that the very fact that Whites killed by the Police force not as heavily reported on serves to build resentment among many in that demographic.

They (the deep state) in fact want and welcome that anger and by creating the perception it a "black problem" they ensure the people remain divided as to who to direct that anger towards. This creates more conflict within the society and thus the claim more policing and surveillance needed.

It the same type of policy they use abroad to fuel what they call "Terrorism" thus justifying more military spending and the Empire rationalizing extending its military to all corners of the Earth.


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Great writing and analysis. As to 9/11:I believe the Kennedy family has set the example we are obliged to follow when dealing with learning our Alphabet.:wink:


I'm not going to excuse police violence towards African-Americans. However, I think there is another underlying story being missed here. The Dallas shooter was an Afghan war vet who spent nine months "in country", and was awarded several medals and ribbons for his service. They don't usually give those things out for just being there. He obviously saw "action" of some kind. Perhaps more importantly, he was most likely subjected to the controversial anti-Malaria drugs the military forces soldiers serving there to take, that have known psychological side-effects. It's entirely possible that much of this person's "mental problems" can be traced back to those side-effects, as well as undiagnosed PTSD from combat in Afghanistan. Nobody's talking about it in the corporate media, however. Their knee-jerk reaction is to portray him as the sole cause of the incident. This needs to be talked about.


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We must rally behind the cops brave enough to protect us, speak truth and challenge the police dept.