One article I just read written by a black woman who grew up in the Baltimore suburbs suggested that even black cops seem to automatically suspect blacks with being bad guys.
Baltimore has a black mayor and the prosecutor who filed the charges of homicide against six police officers is black.
Nonetheless, in general, there seems to be a distrust between black people and the police.
One aspect of the problem is that nationwide we have large numbers of people, black and white or other shades, with not much constructive to do, in part due to a lack of jobs, and because of a drug epidemic, and I think (and some will say this is old-fashioned outdated conservative talk) a break down of the family.
Where I live there is not a large black population or a large so-called minority population. It’s predominantly white. But we sure have a lot of aimless people. Unemployment is high.
The break down of the traditional family unit seems to affect a large part of our population nationwide and runs into the higher income levels, although I think families still tend to be more traditional and intact at the higher or highest levels.
I’m probably getting off the subject — whatever it is — here but an observation I have made over the years is that sometimes people who want a stable and productive life simply or not so simply move out of the ghetto. That may mean moving out of one’s comfort zone, but you either stay in a rut or change.
As for the demonstrations over this matter of police brutality against blacks I think the peaceful ones are in order and people have a right to be angry, who could not be over the heavy-handed tactics used by police, the unnecessary roughness and the shoot-first ask-questions-later (or cover-up later) approach?
But I have heard many black people on radio saying that they always have told their kids: “don’t resist the police”.
I think that is sound advice for anyone no matter what color one’s skin is.
Follow that plan and you can live to file a complaint later.
My earlier post on all of this follows:
I wrote within the past few days that the violence in Baltimore (and elsewhere) over police brutality against black people could be counter productive. Well I still think over time it might result in the kind of white backlash from the 60s riots that had such a profound effect on American politics. However, I have to concede that in the short term it may have indeed gotten results. I mean several Baltimore police officers have been charged with homicide in the death of Freddie Gray.
All the details, actually most of the details, of what happened have not been made public and many may still not be known (will they ever be?).
Even though there was a short rumor that one witness (not really and eye-witness) claimed he heard what sounded like Freddie Gray trying to injure himself in a police van, this so-called witness has now denied saying such or at least denied the implication that Gray was trying to injure himself.
The story line now developing is that the police gave Gray a “rough ride” in the van, something police sometimes do to suspects to show them who is boss.
Somehow he eventually suffered a broken spinal cord and died.
Interesting and troubling is that the prosecutor is charging that police had no probable cause to arrest Gray. Apparently he for some reason fled police, they caught up with him, they found a knife on him erroneously described as a switch blade, which is illegal in Baltimore, and took him into custody.
Whatever. But all the violence in the riots and the looting and arson seem to have put extreme pressure on the authorities to do something. Unlike Ferguson, Missouri where they did not charge a white police officer or officers in the death of a black man (and there may or may not have been charges warranted) and unlike the case in New York City where there were no charges after a black man was choked to death by police, a Baltimore prosecutor chose to go the other way.
Even so, over time, if people are going to riot and loot and set things on fire every time they think the police did something wrong, that would seem a total break down in law and order to me and might well still end up in a white backlash or a backlash from anyone more supportive of civilized procedures.
What violence may have brought on — prosecution of cops — might have also been accomplished by peaceful, non-violent protest in the way of Gandhi or Martin Luther King Jr. (he espoused that anyway).
It does seem in all of this, though, that there is indeed a major problem in the way law enforcement is handled.
The job of being a policeman is going to get a lot tougher with required body cameras and knowing that every little movement is going to be second guessed. And I doubt whether cameras can always accurately portray the whole story at all times.
Another interesting and troubling thing is that I think it was said that a private security camera recorded the police van Freddie Gray was in making stop that was not listed on police reports.
We have to wonder what was that all about. And cameras are everywhere.
George Orwell’s classic 1984 told of how the government would be watching our every move. Well it does try in a variety of ways, to include intercepting our phone calls under the guise of gathering intelligence for possible terrorism. But it is not just the government who watches us, it is private concerns with their security cameras (and their fishing on the internet to see what we are looking at in order to target advertising at us) and individuals recording each other with their cell phones or cameras or other devices.
And I myself have been guilty of posting YouTube stuff that might be better left un-posted (nothing off color, just silly).
Oh, and of course politicians have to watch what they say at all times. No matter what the venue, they are being recorded. Mitt Romney may have lost the presidency over that fact. Well maybe not that alone, but it did not help when he accused a large part of the population of being lazy and wanting to depend upon the government while he was talking to some well-heeled donors.
Richard Nixon forgot his own secret recorder was running when he uttered all those expletives and said such evil things about people.
So there is good in this brave new world as far as accountability.
But the tradeoff may be that we have little privacy and we know too much about people — kind of spoils things.
We like to have a little illusion, a little mystery.