I suspect that I am not alone in avoiding watching the video of five Memphis, Tennessee, police officers murdering Tyre Nichols. I can be aware of it without subjecting myself to experiencing it in a (quasi-)first-hand manner.
Commenters routinely point out that both the victim and the perpetrators were black. Some would use this to argue that racism was not a factor, as if to pretend that America’s history of institutionalized and societal racism somehow does not insidiously affect everyone in some way or another.
At Psychology Today Blogs, Kevin Cokley considers this event and its implications. Here’s a short excerpt (emphasis added); the entire piece is worth you while.
Let’s be clear that just because the police officers are Black does not mean that institutional racism was not involved. One of the lessons we should learn from this is that Black people can be pawns in the perpetuation of institutional racism. This is one of the reasons why focusing on individual acts of racism is an insufficient intervention for ending anti-Black racism. Racism is embedded in institutional culture, policies, and practices. It was acceptable to all five officers to brutalize Tyre and to the other officers who were privy to their actions. This speaks to the culture of policing that is all too prevalent in many police departments.
(Broken link fixed.)