White House National Security adviser Robert O’Brien joined Jake Tapper on CNN Sunday morning to discuss the ongoing nationwide protests following the murder of yet another unarmed black man at the hands of overzealous law enforcement. This is a systematic problem and one that has only gotten worse under the Trump administration. Yet O'Brien denies it, as most conservative white men do, claiming it is just a few "bad apples" rather than a systemic problem rooted in a racist culture, demonstrated by the number of many white nationalists who have infiltrated law enforcement and military in America.
O'BRIEN: No, I don’t think there’s systemic racism. I think 99.9% of our law enforcement officers are great Americans and many of them are African-American, Hispanic, Asian. They’re working the toughest neighborhoods, they’ve got the hardest jobs to do in this country, and I think they’re amazing, great Americans, and they’re my heroes, but you know what, there are some bad apples in there.
O'Brien went on to say that there are a few “bad cops that are racist” and there are some cops who “maybe don’t have the right training."
The reality is that there are more than a few "bad apples" and that although some police departments have made great strides to address this issue, there are many that have not. In fact, some departments are totally aware of what is going on and are fine with it. The reason why this is getting more attention now is because of videos taken on phones and social media. Black men have been saying for decades that they are being treated unfairly, but people have largely denied that - until the last 10 years or so. And even when police know they are being recorded, they do not change their behavior. And the police department leadership and police unions back them.
There IS systematic racism in law enforcement and until the white men in charge recognize that and make real change, it will never get better.