However, crime and race go back a lot further than just last year; they are ingrained in U.S. culture.
Blacks account for 54.4 percent of the U.S. prison population and 70 percent of all prisoners in the nation’s south. In the city of New York, Blacks made up 55 percent of police stops but only 22 percent of the population, while Whites were at 10 percent and 35 percent, and Hispanics came in at 32 percent while making up 28 percent of the population.
Scholars acknowledge Blacks are disproportionately represented as they are arrested at 2.6 times the per capita rate of all Americans.
With those stats in hand it is easy to see how police officers are more aggressive with Blacks even to the point of death.
It is also easy to see how Blacks see this nationwide use of oppressive tactics as unjustified and racially motivated, and used by both Black and White cops. The assumption that more Black officers will ease or relieve racial tensions is false; there is no substitute for the inherent goodness or fairness of a police officer, no matter the job that they must do.
Consider this: how can the police enter an apartment, encounter a grandmother, and then shoot and kill the 7-year-old granddaughter amid pleas from the elderly grandmother? Were the officers reckless? Who knows, but this actual incident shows the level of disrespect (to say the least) shown by police when they encountered that Black person, and there was no regard at all for her age or gender.
When America elected a Black President, the likely thought was that we had turned the corner in regard to racism. We could not have been more wrong as Black and White racial extremists have created more discord and even greater separation. Even though the majority of Americans may have voted for Obama (twice), a minority of hardliners are never going to accept a Black man as President, thus creating an undercurrent of hate among the constituents.
You do not have to be a historian to know that racial tensions would be heightened as a result of the 2008 and 2012 Presidential elections, but does that justify police actions against someone being angry? No, but if you are a cop and have racial animosity against Blacks, it is impossible to not take a hard line when you stop a Black person.
In the ’60s and ’70s you had Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, The Black Panther Party, etc., all of whom took a stance against overt racism, both violent and non-violent. Today, as we are once again confronted with police brutality, and unarmed Americans — both Black and White — are being killed, the dilemma of how to solve this problem rises once
Protests and marches are good, but sometimes the use of force is necessary to accomplish a goal — not the use of violence, but of the law and the First Amendment, which gives us the right to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. At present this appears as a racial issue, since police brutality has already spread to Whites and Hispanics.
But where will it end?