The social media platform youtube is especially instructive because there, you can see literary thousands of videos by the day that are designed to assist people in knowing "their rights" when stopped by police. These videos are being shot in Europe, Australia, Canada, the U.S., the Caribbean, and other parts of the world. And in these videos, people who are stopped are filming the police and challenging them on the basis of that country's rights, laws, or whatever policies the person being stopped can invoke to challenge the authority of the gestapo harassing them. As was previously alluded to, these police agencies are increasingly being trained by the same sources. As a result, regardless of which country the incident is taking place in, if you study these videos like I do, you can see similar responses from the police time and time again. Their training is primarily that of containment. In fact, that seems to be the bulk of what they are trained to do. That usually makes it difficult for them to adapt in the situations generally displayed in these videos when the person confronting them is confident and well versed in what the actual laws and/or policies should be that the police are supposed to enforce (almost always, the police themselves are very uninformed about these regulations and function on the basis of whatever they think is right is what's right). In many, although not all, of these videos, the subjects are Europeans and in almost all of them, the focus is on holding the police accountable to the subject's knowledge of "their rights."
The problem with all of this is oppressed people, particularly brown oppressed people, in all of these countries do not possess these rights everyone in these videos, articles, and general analysis centers keeps talking about. And the method in which police operate, and especially the degree to which they are being permitted to do so without any repercussions for their brutality, clearly confirms my claim. We have seen countless examples and evidence that demonstrates that oppressed people are guilty until proven innocent. So, that all by itself eradicates the principle that you have rights because if you are automatically deemed guilty, whatever rights you were supposed to have had wouldn't be recognized. So, despite the fact White people in these videos yell at and insult the police for their ignorance, any brown person with a shred of intelligence watching that would never try the same tactics when facing a similar situation.
There are two fundamental reasons why claiming rights is extremely dangerous to oppressed brown people and all people actually. The first reason is because brown people have been subjected and oppressed for 500+ years as a part of the effort to build and sustain the capitalist system. The entire emergence of this system has been at the expense of brown people and no scholar, economist, or historian can intelligently deny that. And the system is maintained based on this same oppression. So, if this same capitalist system is still claiming that it exists because of the virtues of its capitalist and individualistic values, there is no way that same system is ever going to admit its oppression against us. So, instead, the system seeks to convince everyone that it is the sole representative of human existence and any flaws, real or perceived, that it may have, your absolute only alternative is to figure out how to resolve these issues strictly within the context of the existing capitalist/imperialist network. Anything else is to be considered insane. The idea behind this thinking breeds the concept that since this system is the only option, if people within it aren't treated as they should be, then the issue is only one of correcting that e.g. providing them the rights they have under the system that some flaw is just preventing them from experiencing. The truth is far too many people today believe that bourgeois nonsense. And, not enough people recognize the truth that many people, in fact most people, in the world today have absolutely no rights whatsoever. The laws written by these capitalist countries do not even pretend to apply to oppressed people. Actually, they don't even apply to most white people, but try telling them that. Most white people today are the Charlie Brown character from the cartoon who repeatedly permits Lucy to trick him into thinking she will hold the football so he can kick it. Every time, when he tries, she moves the ball, and he is left floundering in the dirt. In this analogy, Charlie Brown obviously represents most white people. The football represents the future of most white people (being taken away), and Lucy represents the capitalist system, constantly fooling its subjects. Now, its the responsibility of conscious Europeans to figure out how to stop that same scene from reoccurring with their people. My main concern here is that far too many of us believe that same bourgeois rhetoric that we have "rights." And far too many of us, like Philando Castillo, are dead because we believed that lie that the laws of the capitalist system would protect us when time after time, this system proves that slaves have no protection.
The other problem with this belief about "rights" is that it completely dis-empowers the people promoting it against the police because the entire concept is based on the principle that once you present the truth to the police, they will react accordingly. The problem with this is what do you do when they don't respond appropriately? There is no option in that scenario because the whole "we have rights" argument is based in convincing them to respect their laws as it relates to us. In order for that to happen consistently, this system would have to be based in justice and morality and if you believe that it is, than all I can say to you is you are reading the wrong blog.
For oppressed people, and really anyone with a brain and a working heart, what we need to start telling people is that the police are there to serve as security guards for the capitalist class. That is their role and its the sole reason they exist. This is the reason they will never support protests against the system and anyone expecting them to do that is living in a fantasy world. Its also the reason why they function as they do. Its the reason they act unmercifully to attack activist groups working against capitalism while doing absolutely nothing to obstruct the work of anti-human white supremacist groups who are attacking us, but doing nothing against the system while often assisting it. What we need to be telling people is that we can organize our communities to resist police oppression to the point where we can move the police completely out of existence by creating a conscious people who protect their own communities with the morality some of us keep naively expecting from gestapo police. What we need to start messaging is that in a capitalist society, the police will always be against the people. It has nothing to do with labeling your police daddy as the villian. Nothing to do with dehumanizing your sister or brother who are the police. It has everything to do with understanding the role of the institution your loved ones are committed too. If you aren't willing to face that reality than don't waste our time with misguided sentiment. The police represent our enemies and consequently, they are our enemies. Common sense dictates that instead of us trying to find ways to rationalize their oppression of us, or create ways to exist with that oppression, we should be working to find ways to eliminate their oppressive institutions. And, that process has to be based in a movement to eliminate this backward capitalist system and replace it with one based in placing people above profit e.g. socialism. That's the message people need to be hearing instead of selling them a well intentioned, but dangerous bourgeois fantasy about rights. That fantasy has been getting us killed for centuries. It clearly isn't working.