About Black Lives Matter. Of course they matter, and I don’t think by proclaiming they do that one at the same time proclaims or implies others do not. The empirical evidence indicates there is a problem of white police officers (a minority of them) stopping black people, usually young men, for minor violations, and then the result is that they, the black people, are shot to death.
Well that can’t be right. I mean it would only be right if an officer was in immediate danger of being shot himself. And in the heat of the moment that might be hard to determine. But there have been some cases or at least one that comes to mind when the victim was shot running away, and I think that was over a supposed traffic violation. Come on, if someone has a traffic violation and they escape there is not danger to the public.
Even though we often have videos from bystanders or surveillance cameras or even ones the cops wear or have in their cars, the actual details can still be murky, due to photo quality and angle and timing and lighting and sometimes there are gaps.
But I’m seeing two problems right off the bat: One, you just have to comply with what the officer says at the time and don’t hesitate — this would go for anyone of any sex or color (citizen complaints can be made after the fact while the victim is still alive). In one recent incident it is reported that the victim of a fatal police shooting informed the cop or his wife did or they both did that he had a gun. The cop ordered him to put his hands up, but instead the victim reached for something at his waist — a wallet to show he had gun permit? No one knows. But he was told to put his hands up, if the report is correct. The officer hearing about and/or seeing a gun reacted and shot the man, or actually more than one officer fired (this seems suspect). I’m sorry, but in a way I have to be with the officer’s or officers’ judgment on this one — that is just based on the facts as presented. However, I have to wonder why or if the proper authorities cannot come up with some better procedure or protocol or method for such instances. I realize that even though they sound much the same, each case is unique.
In some of these cases I wonder why Tasers or rubber bullets are not used. But then again, in the most recent case in Baton Rouge, reportedly Tasers were used initially, but to no avail.
I especially don’t get the knife versus gun ones. I mean, yes at close range the officer probably has no choice. It’s his life. But when cops have a guy surrounded but are at some distance, I’m not at all sure they have to blast away (and they do this to whites and blacks). I of course don’t have the answer. But deadly force just has to be the very last resort, but too often it seems as if it is the first resort.
I think I am correct in saying that most of the bad outcomes with police take place in bad sections of town or in low-income communities. Whatever it takes — and money is always an integral part of it — there needs to be institution of real community policing, and such a policy needs to be maintained, not just begun with fanfare only to be set aside in ongoing political budget fights. The police can’t just come in like an occupying force. And it is not the police officers’ fault. They are just doing the job as presented to them by the people higher up who have designed it.
Police throughout society, in all cities and towns and neighborhoods, in rich and middle-income and poor areas, need to be seen as public servants, there to provide security and assistance to the public. And having police who look like the people they serve ought to go a long way in all of this, but of course we don’t want just black police in some areas and just white police in some areas and just Asian police in others, that would defeat the goal of racial harmony.
And any display of racism on police forces cannot be tolerated, and police unions be damned if they try to protect racist officers or cover up their actions. And I hate to say this, but there has been so much terrible racism in the past, we all have to be politically correct at times (even though in general I think PC violates freedom of speech).
I understand that police departments are having a tough time recruiting black police officers because sometimes being a policeman is thought of as acting “white”. That is a mindset that gets people nowhere for sure.
In the San Francisco Bay area not far from where I live, I have read about more than one high school black athlete who has been killed by other blacks for being successful, acting white as it were.
(It does not help things when so many adult and super-high paid athletes act like thugs themselves, however.)
I often read that there is little employment for minorities, maybe especially blacks, in certain areas. Don’t know. I sure encounter people of all races in my work as a truck driver. They drive trucks, forklifts, work in offices, yeah everything.
Unemployment I think is more of a problem affecting all races than it is of affecting just one.
Social attitude may be the real problem. And the break up of families society wide I believe is a major cause of societal stress. But it has hurt the black community disproportionately perhaps. I know that in the Bay Area there is this narrative about blacks moving there in the 1940s for jobs in the shipyards for the war effort. But after the war jobs became scarce. Many black families had to go one public assistance. But in a grave injustice, welfare officials at the time decreed that families with a man in the house would be denied benefits. This led to generation upon generation of fatherless homes. I mean originally I suppose the father just had to hang out somewhere else. But in succeeding generations it became the norm for young men with no jobs to sire children (as humans will do) but not even consider being part of a family and carrying out fatherly duties. The first time I head about all of this, I doubted it. But I think it is well documented.
And I kind of morphed into another subject, but I think it helps explain the lack of respect for social institutions and authorities, particularly in segments of the black community (but this is a problem society wide).
Something else this white boy has noticed: some black people move away from the ghetto and all of its problems and find work elsewhere.
Like some huckster on the radio trying to sell his program, a phony one no doubt, says: “watch what the poor people do and don’t do it”. That part of his pitch is so true.
A black person who might read this might think I’m just a clueless or even racist (not so) white guy who does not see things the way they are. Well, I just put down some observations and mean no harm or disrespect.
I think black lives matter.