Monday, November 2, 2015

Manic Monday: I actually agree with Boortz!

While Neal Boortz has retired from talk radio, he has not retired from talking.  Boortz had a talk radio program based in Atlanta, GA, until 2013, when he retired.  Since then, he's been traveling the United States in the "Boortz Bus" when he's not enjoying retirement in Florida.

He does a short daily commentary on WSB Radio, and I actually agreed with a recent one.

Boortz and I don't agree on certain things.  But this commentary, I agreed with.  He said that soon, no one will want to be a police officer because, when it comes to a white police officer vs. a young black, the young black is ALWAYS in the right, no matter what the circumstances.

I don't know of any way to write this post that is not going to sound racist or incendiary.  So I'm going to write it the best I can and let the chips fall where they may.

I'm 52.  Within my lifetime, you can find accounts of blacks being savagely and unfairly mistreated by white police officers.  Go to YouTube, search for "selma news coverage", and you'll find news footage of peaceful demonstrators being attacked by law enforcement.  Look for "civil rights movement" and you'll find account after account of similar encounters, either of law enforcement turning dogs or water hoses on peaceful demonstrators, or of whites abusing of blacks while law enforcement did nothing to stop them.  Denying this part of history is on the same level as denying the Jewish Holocaust.

And while legally sanctioned discrimination is largely a thing of the past, I'm also sure there are cases where white law enforcement HAS been guilty of mistreatment of blacks.  The shooting of Walter Scott at the beginning of this year is just one example.  And "mistreatment of blacks" is a gross understatement in this case--the man was shot in the back as he ran.  The officer was indicted by a grand jury in June of this year, and justifiably so, in my opinion.

My minister has an adopted son who is black.  He's spoken of times when his son was unfairly treated by law enforcement.  (He addressed this subject in this Newsworthy with Norsworthy podcast.)

I don't want to ignore the very real problems that are faced as the result of a history of systemic discrimination.  And I fear that I, as a white woman, just do not "get it".

But does the tragic history of discrimination faced by African-Americans justify certain events in Ferguson, MO?  In Baltimore?  In other places?  Are riots in the streets EVER justified?  I don't mean peaceful protests.  I don't mean gatherings at places like Centennial Park in Atlanta where angry people blow off steam without destruction of property.  I mean, looting, burning, attacks on innocent citizens at the mere hint of police mistreatment without trying to find out the facts first.

We are fast becoming a country where if any officer dares to show any force against anyone, especially if that officer is white and the other person is black, that officer is automatically going to be accused of some sort of police brutality.  And while police brutality against African-Americans was and is a historical reality, I fear that there are some who use that history as an excuse for tolerating and justifying violence.

Is there no way for us whites to acknowledge the very real history of police brutality and mistreatment towards the black community, and current cases of police mistreatment and brutality towards blacks (or anyone else, for that matter)?

Is there no way for certain members of the black community to realize that not every encounter between a white officer and a black person is the fault of the white officer?  That, sometimes, maybe the black person really is guilty of a crime?

Is there no way for us to understand?  To work together?  To drop these masks of suspicion that we just automatically seem to have towards one another?

If we can't find a way to acknowledge the systemic abuses that African-Americans have suffered, and also acknowledge that whites are not always the guilty party, we are soon going to be a society that will be ripped apart at the seams, and I fear that our calls to 911 will go unheeded.

Because no one, black or white, will want to even attempt to enforce the law in such circumstances.

Just my .04, adjusted for inflation.

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