The violence that has erupted in cities across America is beyond words.
So much anger. Yet, how did we become so angry? I blame the media, above all. We are inundated with perpetual lopsided journalism that stokes the fires of injustice for some people. If the issue is police brutality, why do we only see videos of brutality against black people? Clearly, there is brutality against white people, too. Clearly, there is brutality against people of all colors. Yet, we only see brutality against blacks on TV. Of course, blacks are going to get angry. I’d be angry too.
According to data collected by the Washington Post, 50.3% of the people killed by police were white and 26.4% were black between the years 2015 through 2019. Yet, our media obscures the data by showing almost exclusively black killings by police on the news. Isn’t our media leaving out some important information? Wouldn’t the whole truth be more less likely to fuel a mindset of injustice?
And, how many of us would step up and become a policeman or policewoman in this society? Not me. I’d trade places with a black person before a police person.
But, we need police. Some of my favorite people are police. Can there be corrupt or otherwise unsavory police, including those who use excessive force? Of course. Those are the police who need to be brought to justice.
It is a horrible injustice against police to consider that they are all bad because of a few who are bad. And it destabilizes our nation when we turn against the police. We need laws. We need enforcement. Or we become the wild west we once were.
Some of my favorite people have been black people, too. Looking back over the years, we’ve had more black guests to my house than people of any other color. Two of my daughter’s best friends were black. My son played on a black football team in elementary school. His black coach personally picked up his players in his truck and brought them to practice because he was trying to keep his players away from the influences that can lead to a life of crime.
I am tired of anyone implying white people are racist just because they are white. In my family, we gave black children rides at practice, took black friends to dinner at restaurants, took them on weekend trips, and they often ate meals at our house. They were fun, funny, polite and respectful kids. We enjoyed their company.
Yet, our news media and our higher education systems perpetuate the ideology of racism when they dwell on white privilege. How many of these folks can say they had more black guests than white guests at their house or at their dining table?
I’m willing to bet very few–maybe none. Perhaps some of them are the ones guilty of white privilege. Maybe they need to take a look in the mirror.
It seems to me it’s better to spend one-on-one time with at-risk kids than to blame others. Blame is easy. Finding solutions is hard. It’s easy to be friends with people of any color. But, very few people dive into the highest at-risk groups, like, for example the coach on the football team who picked up his players to take them to practice.
We should challenge the media to have at-risk kids and their parents come to dinner on a regular basis. Not just once or twice for their TV shows, but many times–maybe weekly. It’s better than throwing blame around through lopsided journalism that stokes the fires of injustice.
News is supposed to be news. Not judgement.
Kids need values, hygiene, healthy living advice and love. They need to think somebody cares about them. Having children–no matter your race–is a blessing and a huge responsibility.
I’m not going to turn off the news because we need to know what’s happening. But our media needs reform. It’s time to replace misplaced blame with positive action that we can be proud of. Grateful for the help of our media in making us better Americans and friends with all races.