On CNN, Dyson Claims 'Police Are the Manifestation of Terror Against Black Life'

Appearing as a guest on Thursday's Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN for a discussion of recent high-profile police shootings in which the suspect killed was black, Georgetown University Professor and former MSNBC political analyst MIchael Eric Dyson at one point asserted that "the police are the manifestation of terror against black life" which he claimed "has been rendered vulnerable and disposable in America."

Dyson's comments came after he recalled having negative interactions with the police in the past. Dyson began:

Look, I'm a black man in America. I have been accosted by the police. I have been mistreated by the police, I have been called the N word by the police, I have been beaten down by the police. I have a PhD from Princeton University. I have abided by the law all my life.

The former MSNBC political analyst, who has long been known for spewing race-obsessed hyperbole, continued:

And yet my interactions with the police have been fraught with terror. And I think what we're discounting here is the degree to which the police are the manifestation of terror against black life that has been rendered vulnerable and disposable in America. And, as a result of that, our interactions with them will also be fraught with that kind of fear.

He then added:

So when the police have a legitimate concern about -- as brother Klinger said -- if they're too close, that is, the people who are looking at them, but what we have to do is look at the broader backdrop. There has been -- there has been a look of disgust, of disdain, of a kind of negative reaction from so many police toward African-American and Latino people that we can't in one sense exempt them from a broader culture of disregard for these people. So the camera is but one smaller part of a larger whole. And that is how police people see African-American and Latino people. Do you see us as human? Do you see us as people you would treat like your uncle?

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Thursday, September 22, Anderson Cooper 360:

MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: Let me say this. It is not only about the kind of optics of the case so that people can see what's going on and they can record it with a certain level of fidelity. It is also about a broader issue. Look, I'm a black man in America. I have been accosted by the police. I have been mistreated by the police, I have been called the N word by the police, I have been beaten down by the police. I have a PhD from Princeton University. I have abided by the law all my life.

And yet my interactions with the police have been fraught with terror. And I think what we're discounting here is the degree to which the police are the manifestation of terror against black life that has been rendered vulnerable and disposable in America. And, as a result of that, our interactions with them will also be fraught with that kind of fear.

So when the police have a legitimate concern about -- as brother Klinger said -- if they're too close, that is, the people who are looking at them, but what we have to do is look at the broader backdrop. There has been -- there has been a look of disgust, of disdain, of a kind of negative reaction from so many police toward African-American and Latino people that we can't in one sense exempt them from a broader culture of disregard for these people. So the camera is but one smaller part of a larger whole. And that is how police people see African-American and Latino people. Do you see us as human? Do you see us as people you would treat like your uncle? That's why community policing is so important.

DAVID KLINGER, FORMER LAPD OFFICER: When I was on the job, I treated people equally.

DYSON: Well, that's you, but we have evidence that that doesn't occur. And as a result of that, your exemplary behavior, if it could be replicated would be laudable. But the fact is-

KLINGER: Most of the men and women I know behave like me, sir.

DYSON: But, sir, that's like going to the doctor and saying, "Look, most of my cells are fine, but a few are cancerous." It's the cancerous ones that will kill the body. And right now, the cancerous police people -- cancerous police people are killing the body of, if you will, justice for so many African-American and Latino people.

KLINGER: And nobody wants those officers out of policing more than the good police officers who are the vast majority of officers that I've met in the last 35 years.

DYSON: That thin blue line is pretty good. The kind of fidelity and no snitching among police people is pretty rough.

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