|Before he was a Confederate war hero and leader of the Ku Klux Klan, Nathan Bedford Forrest made a lucrative living buying and selling slaves.|
|North Carolina sharecroppers circa 1935.|
|Black child prisoner chain gang, 1903|
UNICOR, the Federal Prison Industry, pays prisoners 23 cents a hour. A forty hour week will earn the prisoner the same as a 1940's sharecropper got in just one day. But that's generous compared to elsewhere. In Texas, Arkansas, and Georgia prisoners are used as slaves and paid nothing for their labor and will be punished if they refuse to work.
Then there are the many private corporations that contract with states for exceptionally cheap prison labor. Companies from British Petroleum to Victoria's Secret use American prisoner workers to maximize profits. Chances are the telemarketer bothering you during dinner is calling from an American prison.
My inelegant point is that America has always seen black lives as a commodity. Antebellum they were property to be bought and sold but always black lives have been seen valuable only as beasts of burden. When possible, and with our current judicial system that is all to often possible, black lives can still be used as near slaves to increase their master's wealth.
Police shoot blacks for the same reason the Klan lynched them and overseers whipped them. As an object lesson to a class of workers lest they rebel.