Racism in America: Problem or Perception?

ows_144002532180502The current situation in Minneapolis:  Police shot and killed a man while they were attempting to arrest him.  During the scuffle, officers allege that he tried to take a gun.  The citizens believe that the man was handcuffed and then shot. The officer is white. The person who was shot was black. A reporter stated that this shooting has contributed to racial tension in the twin cities area. I did some basic research on Minneapolis and when it comes to racism, it appears that the issue is with the police.  No one is complaining about being denied access to a hospital.  No one is complaining about not being allowed to sit at the front of the bus.  It’s mainly the police.  But to not seem anti-police, the jobs and education complaint is commingled into the argument.  This makes me wonder if racism in America is a problem or perception.

I went to the Mall with my wife and daughter. After walking around for about an hour, I took a seat in the “man area” of the mall. After sitting there for about 5 minutes, an older white male (maybe 70) came to the area and stated, “I’m going to join you in the man seats!” I laughed and said “Come on and take a load off.” For the next 10 minutes or so, we made wisecracks about women and shopping. The gentleman stood up and said, “Well, here’s momma (referring to his wife). You have a good evening, sir. Nice chatting with you.” As he walked away, I thought to myself that this man sat down a talked to me and our skin color was not a factor. Without a doubt the man was alive during a time when tensions between blacks and white were high. I didn’t know if he supported Jim Crow or civil rights. I didn’t care.  For the rest of the evening, I paid attention to how white people received me.  Multiple white sales associates were more than eager to help me.  A young, white male bumped into me and without hesitation apologized.  I did not feel uncomfortable encountering any white person.

imagesI would like to consider myself a well-rounded individual. Despite going to an inner-city school, I was afforded many opportunities to meet students from all walks of life. From camp Anytown in Searcy, AR to Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, N.H., I interacted with people other than my race. I approached them as a human first. Race was rarely a factor. I visited several military bases in my lifetime. Interracial couples probably outnumbered same race couples. I have to ask myself am I wearing rose colored contact lenses or is racism not a factor?

My mother and  father told me stories of horrible things white people said to him while he was growing up in Desoto County, Mississippi. They told me stories of horrific things that they did to blacks when they were growing up.  Despite how they grew up, my parents taught me to treat people with respect, but don’t kiss anyone’s butt. That being said, people in Minneapolis are not being segregated and denied their civil rights. They have a problem with the police. Unfortunately, they have so called “leaders” and the ACLU that are patronizing the black community, convincing them that their issues are due to racism, not personal responsibility.

The ACLU in Minneapolis states:

People of color are more likely to be arrested for low-level crimes in Minneapolis
compared to their white counterparts, according to a detailed study released
Thursday of thousands of arrests made by city police. …

Picking up the Pieces: Policing in America:

A Minneapolis Case Study shows that blacks were 8.7 times more likely than
white people to be arrested for minor offenses, which are violations that
are punished by fines of $3,000 or less and/or a year or less in jail. Native
Americans were 8.6 times more likely than white people to be arrested.
Among young people ages 17 and under, black youth were 5.8 times more
likely to be arrested for low-level offenses than white youth; for Native
Americans, this figure was 7.7.

The amazing thing is that the ACLU’s answer is for the police to police less.  No one has yet to say, don’t commit crimes.  Are the police trumping up charges on blacks?  Are they giving white people a get out of jail free card?  Who knows?  I’m curious as to why people are taking the time to demand less police intervention as opposed to preaching about stopping violence and refraining from the use and/or sale of narcotics. Crime is truly down in Minneapolis. The police and their programs are working. However, police are vilified when they use deadly force against a person of color. If there is a genuine concern regarding how the blacks in Minneapolis are treated by the police, why is there not a call to action for more blacks to join the police force? The force is currently 9.2% black and 79.8% white.

Civil rights activists blame race on the state of education and unemployment in the black community in Minneapolis. The overall High School graduation rate is 59% for the 2013-14 schools year.  The graduation rate for blacks was 46% for that school year. Are white people preventing over half of the black students from coming to school and graduating?  What is the local NAACP doing to get kids to graduate? The dropout rate in the black community contributes to the unemployment rate.  How can you demand $15 and hour when you don’t have the discipline or desire to obtain your high schools diploma or GED?

There are people living in the black community that would rob Jesus if he was walking down the street. If the person who robbed Jesus gets shot by a white officer, the community activists would place a halo on his head and make it a race issue.  There are bad police officers in the world, but every officer is not a racist.  The typical officer wants to come to work, keep the peace and go home.  But they are patrolling the streets, fighting what you fear.  As we saw in Ferguson, a lot of the protests were triggered from lies.

ARTICLE_RacialRecAre there places in America that don’t allow blacks? Yes. Are there racist people in the United States? Absolutely.   Is racism crippling the progress and livelihood of blacks in America? I think not. Racism is alive and kicking. However, it is a card that is over played and played out of turn. We have far more pressing issues within the black community that need to be addressed.  We have too many children dying violent deaths.  The STD rates in the black communities are still increasing.  There is a disparity in the success rate of finding missing people of color as opposed to missing white people.  Criminals are allowed to have their sentences reduced, just to be released and commit the same or a worse offense. These are the issues that demand attention and are being ignored.  The average black person is victimized by another black person.  Not a member of the KKK.  Not a white police officer patrolling the streets.  I believe there are people that have to keep racism on the forefront.    If we no longer acknowledge racism, a lot of people would have to get real jobs. I’m just saying.