Target: NYPD Police Commissioner Bill Bratton
Goal: Denounce the NYPD commissioner for calling all rap artists “thugs” after violence at a rap concert.
A police commissioners called rap artists in general “thugs” and “so-called” artists, blaming them for the violence that happened at a recent concert. Commissioner Bill Bratton said that rappers celebrate violence and that this causes violence to occur at rap concerts, including the one in New York.
The word “thug” when used to describe black people is simply a coded racial slur. It paints this entire group of people as violent and less than human, and white people who engage in gun violence are rarely called thugs. It’s this type of language that keeps racism going in the U.S.
One news anchor pointed out that it’s been a long time since violence has erupted at a rap concert like this in New York city. Though things like this may occasionally happen, it’s no different than the violence that can erupt at concerts for any other type of music. Police commissioners don’t use racially coded language to complain about the “culture of violence” around mosh pits at metal concerts that tend to be dominated by white music fans.
This kind of racism is absolutely unacceptable from a police commissioner in a country where racial bias in police departments has resulted in an epidemic of cops killing people of color. Sign our petition to demand that Commissioner Bratton apologizes for these racist remarks and refrain from running his mouth about these issues in the future.
Dear Commissioner Bratton,
You recently made some racially insensitive remarks in regards to some violence that erupted at a local rap concert. You called rappers “so-called artists” and “thugs.” Thug in particular has been called out as racially coded language–basically a replacement for the n-word. You were basically calling all rap artists, most of whom are black, violent criminals. This is a classic anti-black, racist generalization that is completely inappropriate for a police commissioner.
You oversee a huge department of police officers in a nation where many police departments are struggling with issues of racial profiling and a deadly strain of racism that’s resulted in many thousands of people of color being shot and killed by officers while white criminals are treated gently. Attitudes like yours that code all black people as “thugs” are what’s created this situation and continue to fuel the problem.
Racism is no longer acceptable in police departments, especially among leadership. We demand that you issue a public apology for your racist statements and refrain from ever referring to black people as “thugs” again. If you can’t do that, then it’s time to step down from your position.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Fibonacci Blue