A Primer on Police and White Privilege

Envisioning The American Dream

collage vintage illustration policeman poster Hands up don't shoot

White children learn early on the policeman is your friend. He keeps us safe.

It is their truth. But the truth is often skewed, as simplistic  as these vintage school book illustrations.

The truth is as simple as black and white – the criminal justice system is guilty of treating young black men different from young white men.

If racial identity shapes the way we are treated by police it also shapes the way we are likely to view them.


The all American all white schoolbooks of my own 1960’s childhood served as nothing less than a primer on white privilege.

Without exception, mid-century schoolbooks always presented a heroic picture of police – police officers are the folks who help us when we are lost, keep us safe, protect our homes or who treat us to a thrilling  ride in a patrol car in order to show us how…

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