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All writing is a form of prayer - John Keats

Monday, November 22, 2021

Are we winning the war against racism? I don't think so!

I can’t even begin to discuss the obvious racial issues in the Rittenhouse story with a good friend. She insists that I’m biased because I refuse to watch Fox News, and that racism is not a systemic problem in U.S. law enforcement and justice circles. 

She is correct in that I struggle with objectivity on the issue of race, because my colleagues and I deal with it every day. As a legitimate and experienced broadcast journalist and a news junkie, I refuse to listen to any single news organization, and I have broad experience in pursuing facts. 

I’m not sure what planet my friend lives on, but here are some quotes, all gathered from legitimate resources, today. 

-A Freep investigation found that Black men are nearly six times more likely to be charged with resisting under state law than white men. Detroit Free Press 

-Federal prosecutors in New Jersey last week indicted 3 police officers seen on video abusing a Black teenager who was handcuffed and prone. The incident took place in January, 2018. Two of the copes were still on the job when indicted. The Marshall Project 

-More evidence that avowed white supremacists are allowed to work as prison guards in Florida. “Those who work in our prisons don’t seem to fear people knowing that they’re white supremacists,” says a state lawmaker. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

-Blacks tend to be sentenced more harshly than whites for lower-level crimes such as drug crimes and property crimes. Blacks convicted of high-level drug offenses also tend to be more harshly sentenced than similarly-situated whites. Open Society Foundations 

-Black Americans are incarcerated in state prisons across the country at nearly five times the rate of whites. The Sentencing Project 

-The criminal justice system’s pervasive problems with racism start before the first contact and continue through pleas, conviction, incarceration, release, and beyond. American Bar Association 

-The net effects of history’s injustices are staggering. According to statistics the NAACP examined, although Black people make up 13.4 percent of the population, they make up: 22 percent of fatal police shootings,47 percent of wrongful conviction exonerations, and 35 percent of individuals executed by the death penalty. NAACP 

I think we can safely assume that a Black teenager cannot grab an assault rifle and run off to another town in another state, shoot 3 people participating in a white supremacy rally killing 2 of them, and be found not guilty on all charges. 

On this Thanksgiving Day I shall not be giving thanks for the widespread gains in defeating racism in America. I don’t see it happening.

 

1 comment:

Jan said...

Thanks for your post, Doug. This all seems perfectly clear to me, too. I think if FOX "news" ceased to exist, and if people watched and listened to a range of networks/stations, this country would be a better place. We could actually have conversations about important topics. Jan