I think about my life as a white male in society a lot these days, and the safety it often provides me that I used to never consider. I think about how when I’ve been pulled over by the police for a light out, or a car registration sticker – I’m always a bit nervous, but not overwhelmingly so. I may or may not get a ticket, but that’s about it.
I listen to what people are saying about black (men primarily) and how they need to just be polite and keep there head down when having an interaction with the law. It’s more unfortunate that black people are being told to shut up and obey – so you don’t get shot. Where as the white narrative is more along the lines of – do what the cop says so you don’t get hassled.
This article from the New York Times really does a great job of working through the data. One piece that really stood out to me was that of the 60 unarmed victims of police shootings in the last year – about 75% have been black men? I can see a few were belligerent, but when it is 45 out of a total of 60 I just can’t believe they all acted in such a manner that they deserved to be killed. It strains credulity to the degree that I doubt a movie could be made that anyone would believe was remotely true.
Black men are 21 times more likely to be shot than whites – this is staggering and astounding in the most horrible of ways.
It would require an acceptance of a negative stereotype of the low income black American male – that doesn’t hold up to nor match the wide variety of individuals that make up this community. Just as all whites are not homogeneous and can’t be held guilty for the crimes of any other person, neither can all blacks be responsible for nor treated as if they all are one less than savory individual.
I also wonder, “what about well mannered whites?” Isn’t the white on white murder rate about the same – more whites are murdered by whites than by blacks. Why is there a different standard when discussing black rights and black on black crime vs white rights and white on white crime. Why don’t whites get treated as if they were all the lowest possible common denominator by police?