You are missing the Point

I keep seeing posts about “just do what they say” – “they don’t hurt you if you do what they say:… :They are people too.”

YOU ARE MISSING THE POINT.

The point is that in the US an overwhelming number of people are dying because the police kill them.

An overwhelming majority of the people who are being killed are black people.

A staggering amount of police brutality happens to black people.

An overwhelming number of the people who are arrested are people of color.

They are arrested in much higher numbers than white people caught in the same circumstances.

They are approached and assumed to be in criminal circumstances based on skin color.

The prison sentences given to black people are longer than sentences given to white people convicted of the same crime.

These are NOT debatable issues.  These are FACTS.

THE UNITED STATES HAS A GOVERNMENT THAT OPENLY DISCRIMINATES AGAINST BLACK PEOPLE.  

The justice system, from police to courts to prisons are all visibly and blatantly discriminating against and KILLING black people.

Stop picking at the edges of the argument, measuring the corners and angles of a particular situation.  It’s not really about any one situation.  It’s about the ENTIRE system.  It’s a very big and very CLEAR picture. Evidence abounds.

The evidence isn’t in the media stories.  Those are the emotional windmills that we tilt at every so often. The evidence has been collected by many studies.  Research has been done. LOTS of it.  And the research reflects a disgusting and chronic problem.  It needs to be fixed.

Get your nose out of  your own experience. If you cannot empathize with someone else’s experience, at least LOOK AT THE EVIDENCE.    Its there.  Clear and factual.  This is happening.  Its real.

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7 thoughts on “You are missing the Point

  1. It really hurts to watch these things and even listen to people try to make blind excuses that totally baffles me. Before we moved to the UAE, living in the US wasn’t the most comfortable time of my life (I actually feel safer in the Middle East ) because I am not holding my breath when my husband is out or when my son wants to go and play with friends and I will give him a lecture before he steps out. It’s just not the way one should spend their lives in trepidation. Something has to be done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is what breaks my heart too. White people in this country delude themselves into thinking that their experience is the universal experience of everyone in the country.

      When I get pulled over by the police, I deserve it because I’m white. That’s the white experience of the police. That is NOT the reality of black people in this country. And a huge number of white people cannot see that. Because they are looking at it through the lens of their own experience with the police.

      But you only have to look at the evidence.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Every single one of the people I know who are of african or hispanic heritage gets stopped by the police on a regular basis for nonexistent traffic violations; taillight out even when it’s working, not putting on a turn signal soon enough, ‘erratic driving’… It’s called DWB (driving while black or driving while brown).

    I’ve seen it happen to friends of mine. When I was working out of the Milwaukee facility in the 90s one of my coworkers and friends was black, and he was getting stopped on while on service calls at least a half dozen times a week. At least three times in one week he was nearly arrested for ‘stealing’ his own equipment because the police didn’t believe he could be a black man in a high-tech job. Twice he was nearly arrested for ‘stealing’ his own car. Every time he went out on a job he faced the definite possibility he’d be harassed, stopped, searched…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post. I have written before as a 57 year-old white man, I can pretty much go anywhere I want and not be questioned. If I am stopped by a patrolman, I know that I need to be polite, but I don’t fear for my life. A Black man, even if dressed in his Sunday best, does not have this luxury. And, if stopped by a patrolman, the thoughts go through his head that “this may be the last thing I do in my life.”

    White people like me do not understand the concept of white advantage. When I hear reverse discrimination it makes me laugh and cry, as the advantages of being white are apparent to those who are not. It is not as simple as moving slowly and behaving when approached by the law, which still must be done. Everyone is biased, so everyone must guard against that bias and predisposition to act.

    I encourage everyone to read the book “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell which discusses our subconscious set of experiences that are drawn on without realizing it. He discusses the example that was sung about by Bruce Springsteen in “American Skin (41 Shots)” that talks about the Brown-skinned man who did not speak English very well and ran when the cops stopped him. He was shot 41 times at a stoop when he reached for his wallet.

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    1. As you point out, a huge and complicated component of this is that as a society we have internalized the belief that a black man is a criminal. I feel it myself.

      We see this re inforced on TV and movies. We see it on the news. I imagine you’ve seen the posts about the choice of pictures that get used for a black victim vs a white victim.

      We need to ask the media to participate in changing our collective unconscious categories. We also need to teach people the difference between our hind brains first reaction and actual reality. Too many people let their hind brain make decisions that are dubious at best. And in the case of race are disturbingly bad.

      It takes a split second to correct the hind brains bad thinking. I walk down my block and I see a black man approaching, I often feel myself categorize badly. But half a second is all it takes to look again and see reality, not bad assumption. It does however take that split second and that is one of the saddest things. And I live in a predominantly black neighborhood. This is a daily occurrence. But still my brain makes stupid assumptions.

      And sadder than my unconscious reaction is that black people ALSO have this bias when given tests. We have created a culture through media exposure that constantly reinforces a negative view of black men. It horrible.

      If we do anything else, asking EVERYONE in media to participate in changing the blind perceptions of this country should be part of the process.

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      1. Adding to your comment, here is a quick example. A 65 year old White man was talked out of a rifle over 45 minutes by the police, I think in Michigan. In Cleveland, Tamir Rice, a twelve year old Black boy was shot within two seconds for having a child’s toy. Why?

        Liked by 1 person

  4. As I wrote yesterday, there is no equality when it comes to the “benefit of the doubt”. A black man with a gun is assumed to be life threatening. A white man with a gun is assumed to be exercising his 2nd Amendment rights. That is our reality. Let’s face it now and start to change it.

    Liked by 1 person

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