WW editorial: When a cop is ‘just doing his job’
Perhaps you saw the horrifying video last week of a cop brutally tearing a 1-year-old baby out of his mother’s arms in a Brooklyn food stamp office, while bystanders yelled in protest.
Then perhaps you saw news coverage later that smeared and discredited the African-American mother, Jazmine Headley, for having been charged in New Jersey with “credit card fraud.”
The smear tried to reduce her to “unfit mother, no big deal.”
Wrong. Big deal.
Headley was sitting on the floor in the overcrowded waiting room, playing with the baby as she waited to try to get her childcare benefits reinstated. When she objected to how a security guard ordered her to stand up, he ended up manhandling her, arresting her, taking her baby away and getting her sent to jail on Rikers’ Island.
Why? Not because she was an unfit mother — she is not. She was there in that office being a good mother.
But she ended up in jail because the cop was doing his job — as assigned to him by the repressive state.
Because the police are not paid to be friends of poor people, working-class people, people of color, LGBTQ people, women or any gender-oppressed people. They are never, ever really around to help those in need.
No, the cops are everywhere for one reason, and one reason only — to keep us in line, to keep us quiet and obedient, to threaten, to beat, to kill, to do whatever they can to protect the property of the rich and the laws of an unjust state — and to keep those of us bound by oppression from rising up.
The cop was “just doing his job” — terrorizing Headley for demanding her rights.
The cop was “just doing his job” protecting Big Business property rights by enforcing a warrant on a struggling woman who only maybe had committed a “crime of survival” against a multibillion-dollar corporate credit card company.
The ruling class has hired cops to do the job of protecting this rotten system.
And Jazmine Headley did her job in fighting for herself and her child.
Our job is to build unstoppable forward motion against repression, racism, sexism, capitalism — and to resist, resist, resist.