Police enter a trance state when approaching Black people is now confirmed by comments by Drew Diamond, former Police Chief of Tulsa.
In an earlier piece, we suggested that the US police often entered a trance like state when entering Black neighbourhoods or dealing with Black people. Once in this state, they lose all sense of human empathy. It is while in this state that they commit such crimes against human beings who are Black. Drew Diamond, former Police Chief of Tulsa (Note 1), in the PBS documentary on Tulsa (Note 2) sought to describe this state where officers describe Black neighbourhoods as ‘war zones’ and that when they enter such zone, they see themselves as in the mode of ‘warriors’. Clearly, Diamond is searching for words for there can be no doubt these people are NOT in actual warrior mode.
Soldiers have a code of honour and slaughtering unarmed people just does not show honour or heroism. After a war, soldiers on both sides can meet and discuss each other’s tactics, treat each other with respect, and even admit each other’s fortitude or bravery. None of this applies to shooting unarmed people. Even in Nazi Germany this was an issue. Hitler wanted his troops to engage in random killing, which tore at the German soldier’s self-esteem and psychological balance. Hitler wanted his soldiers in occupied territories to shoot civilians if they even ‘looked funny’ at them. However, soldiers do not see themselves as mere killers. Hitler, who was seeking complete submission of the occupied populations, had to withdraw his instructions due to pressure from his generals. This is an essential clue as to what is going on.
Fanon documented, as have many since, how the demands of killing and torturing unarmed people, imposes enormous psychological costs on those brought up and trained to be soldiers.
It is reported that police killed 32,542 people since 2001; since 2014 the figure is 15,085. Non-whites constitute over 60% of this number. This number, 32,000, compares with the total death count of US soldiers in Viet Nam of 58,000. (Notes 3)
This is a number which if inflicted on people in an occupied territory would have made Hitler proud.
Therefore the question that is begging to be asked is: how does the US system arrange it that the police can carry out this deadly procedure, this slaughter, and generally have no nightmares?
It may well be that, along the lines suggested by Diamond, the police are socialised into entering a trance state with trigger conditions such as ‘Black male’. This is an hypnotically induced trance, the product of extensive training. Once they enter this trance they are ‘in fear of their life’ even if the person in front of them is unarmed and handcuffed. They are taught to believe they are under attack as they enter this trance like state. This training into induced hypnotic trance can be given to non whites who can also be taught that wearing of the uniform in such and such a neighbourhood means that they will be under attack and fearing for their lives. It is this which will explain why non-whites could easily start behaving the same way with the same trigger words implanted within themselves.
This training has to be somewhat carefully executed as if they began shooting important white people some trouble would ensue. There must be rigorous routines about entering this trance like state and strict enforcement of ‘trigger words’. Does this mean that the entire fault lies with police training? NO. These people and institutions are only doing what the wider political system requires. This trance like state merely allows the job to be done.
At the end of the day the police are agents of the political system, not an autonomous power base.
updated 6 June 2021.
- ( https://www.tulsacc.edu/about-us/stories/drew-diamond)
- ( https://www.pbs.org/video/episode-1-zew2v8/?utm_source=whattowatchnews&utm_medium=email&utm_term=mainpromo1&utm_content=20210604&utm_campaign=tulsa_2021),
- (http://publications.unidosus.org/bitstream/handle/123456789/2164/unidosus_specialadvancefactsheet.pdf?sequence=4 )
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