US Police Violence Intertwined with Racism: American Activist

WASHINGTON, DC (Tasnim) – An Irish-American social justice and peace activist said US police violence is intertwined with racism and disproportionately directed at minority communities in the United States.

“Presently, once again here in the US we are seeing the issue of police violence in our news. The police are killing people and attacking people. In a number of cases, there is no justifications. The most recent police violence, last week or so, we are seeing the beginnings of investigations into what has happened in different specific incidents. One police officer in the state of Oklahoma has been charged with a lesser charge of murder; it is manslaughter charge and we will have to see how this story unfolds. But the real central issue is the issue of violence in American society. We have a very high (rate of) incidents of gun violence in the United States and we also have the issue of police violence in the United States,” Malachy Kilbride, who primarily works with Washington Peace Center in Washington, D.C, told the Tasnim News Agency.

“The issue of violence in the US society is intertwined with racism. Police violence is directed disproportionately against minority communities in the United States. However, white people, Caucasian people, people of European ancestry are also affected by this. And disproportionately these people are poor, are working class people. We rarely see, if ever see, violence directed towards wealthy people in rich wealthy places in the United States. So there is also an issue of economics and class that is involved with the violence in American society,” he added.

Elsewhere in his comments, Kilbride said a part of the structural violence that Americans are suffering from is the Prison Industrial Complex (PIC).

“The largest amount of money for the building of our infrastructure in the United States that was spent over trillion dollars was on jails and prisons. The Prison Industrial Complex (PIC) is another face of violence in US American society. So many activists around the country, like Lives Matter Movement and others, are focusing on the racism in the system and also the economics of what is happening.”

The American peace activist further slammed the ongoing US drone program, saying, “For almost five years, it will be going into the fifth year in this November, 2016, people have gathered outside the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) because that is one of the organs of the state of the United States that is operating a drone program which we believe and say is illegal and immoral. Many legal scholars have also wade in and said that drones are being operated in an illegal manner. We know from the investigative journalists around the world that overwhelmingly the victims of the US drone strikes, whether it is the CIA or the military, are civilians, women and children and men and people who are trying to live their daily lives. And what we have is the US, one of the powerful militaries in the world, is attacking people in some of the poorest countries of the world. The drone is just one weapon of the US imperial regime.”

Moreover, Kilbride took a swipe at US warmongering polices across the globe, the Middle East in particular, urging Americans to confront Washington.

“We also have proxy wars. For example, the US is supporting in a number of ways Saudi Arabia, which is now attacking the people of Yemen and war crimes are being committed in this proxy war and so we must go after the drone program because it is illegal and immoral. But we must also confront the US government for its support of Saudi Arabia. Also in the Middle East we have Israel. The largest recipient of military aid is pressing the Palestinian people. We have the US government overthrowing the government of Libya. We have seen what has happened in Iraq and the misery that has been inflicted. The overwhelming majority of people who are refugees fleeing to Europe, are doing so because of war, a war that the United States is responsible for and NATO is responsible for.”

Watch the video of Tasnim’s interview with Malachi Kilbride HERE

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