Black Lives Do Not Matter to American Cops

Pax Ahimsa Gethen
3 min readApr 15, 2023
A chalked message on the sidewalk reads “BLACK LIVES MATTER BLUE LIVES MURDER”. Photo by Pax Ahimsa Gethen, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

This week, news emerged of a large number of blatantly racist text messages exchanged by police officers in Antioch, California, during a stakeout of suspects. Further investigation revealed that nearly half of Antioch’s police department participated in these racist and homophobic text threads.

While the suspects’ defense attorney expressed shock and outrage at this behavior, I am, sadly, not that surprised.

I’m not surprised even though Antioch is a racially diverse city.

I’m not surprised even though Antioch has a Black mayor.

I’m not surprised even though Antioch is located in the supposedly-progressive San Francisco Bay Area.

I’m not surprised because, quite simply, Black lives do not matter to cops in this country. Even Black cops are agents of white supremacy. The entire profession of policing in the U.S. is designed to maintain it.

The cops in these text exchanges talked about Black folks like we’re subhuman. While reading these news articles, I thought about all the white people telling us that we should stop with the “identity politics”, and telling us that talking about racism just makes it worse.

Here’s the thing. These cops have guns, and can legally kill us on sight. And it’s much easier to justify killing someone who you don’t consider to be fully human.

I do not want to hear “not all cops” in response to this post. And I especially do not want to hear “not all white people”…



Pax Ahimsa Gethen

Queer agender trans male. Black vegan atheist, pacifist. Pronouns: they/them/their.,