America at Crossroads: Time to Act Before Spiral of Racial Violence Increases

by on July 8, 2016 · 7 comments

in Civil Rights

American flag upside downWords are difficult to come by today in trying to describe what has just happened, and where we, as a city, as a country, as a nation, are right now.

What we have collectively experienced – as a nation – over the last 3 days – is very difficult to digest. Other stories, other tasks fall by the wayside as irrelevant and inappropriate.

We’re filled with sorrow from all the shootings, killings, and violence that we as a society have experienced just recently.

Dallas, of course, where so much blood was spilled last night, but also St. Paul, Minnesota, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana – and also right here in San Diego where we just went through a horrible period of nearly a week with the vicious attacks by a serial killer of homeless men.

There is also a sense of relief – relief that there was only one shooter in Dallas and he is no longer a threat as he was killed by a police bomb.

Relief because the suspected serial killer right here in San Diego has been caught.

Yet, there is heart-break and there is anguish.

As we mourn all the deaths and all the humans wasted – we are angered that the sickness of this society keeps rising to the surface. Black men keep getting killed by white police officers. And poor white men as well (see fatal police shooting in Fresno).

And now, with the Dallas shootings, we see senseless retribution for the racial profiling and shootings of Black men. This could spiral even more, as some seek violent revenge.

The nation is at a crossroads.

We need to act – not tomorrow – today. We need to come together as a country, and root out the racial animosities that still exist 150 years after the end of our bloody Civil War, that still exist 50 years after the official end to Jim Crow segregation.

We need to do this before it gets worse, before the spiral of violence gets even more horrible than what we watched last time in the televised reports from Dallas. We need to act before there are any more livestreams of African-Americans being needlessly gunned down by law enforcement.

We also need to distinguish between the violent acts of a single person with the legitimate and genuine rage and non-violent protests of thousands of Americans at the continued killings of Blacks by whites under the authority of uniform.

“Black lives matter” is still the chant of those demonstrating against screwed up police violence. But shooting into police lines around the protests in Dallas where many of the cops are Black, where many of the protesters were white has been roundly condemned by all, as it must.

Yet the protests continue. In fact, there is a protest tomorrow, Saturday, July 9th, right here in San Diego. The National Action Network is holding a rally at 10:30 a. m. in response to the recent police shootings of the two African American males. It will be held at House of Justice San Diego at 1728 South 39th Street San Diego, CA. Speakers include the Reverend Shane Harris, attorney Edmond Jordan for Alton Sterling, and in speaking out against police brutality, there will also be Robert Branch and attorney Marc Kohnen.

One fear is that some right-wing politician will want to make hay off Dallas, and that the shooting deaths there will be used to stoke racial tensions even more. Some evidence of this happening has already surfaced.

Unless Americans can overcome this racial animosity that’s been around ever since slavery days, we will continue to be bound to our monstrous heritage and continue to pay the price of our slaving forefathers and foremothers.  But we are chained ourselves if we allow this to continue.

One of the many steps in this process of knocking off the handcuffs of prejudice is to understand why – throughout history and across the globe – only in colonial America was slavery based on skin-color.  There was a reason that the large plantation owners and governing elites of the colonies wanted to be able to separate the races, and a system of a institutionalized  white racism was developed to control both the Black slaves but also the poor and indentured whites. They both needed control as they both continued to join together and revolt.

Four hundred years later, we are still dealing with this system of institutionalized racism. Yet the arc of justice bends down.

And the hope now is that the young generations of Americans will be able lead the country out of this racial morass and to help us all wash aside this history and plague we live in, set us straight, and actual live out our national inspiration that ‘all men and all women are created equal…’.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Avatar Michelle July 8, 2016 at 1:47 pm

One fear is that some right-wing politician will want to make hay off Dallas, and that the shooting deaths there will be used to stoke racial tensions even more. Some evidence of this happening has already surfaced.

Great point. Great and thoughtful piece. There are some out there will use the tragedy In Dallas to their own means. Last night I watched coverage of police officers sheltering protesters with their own bodies, the difference between each human a matter of mere time and place. if I had a message to officers, do not dishonor the memory of your fallen brothers with more violence. Keep to the moral high ground and everyone wins.

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Avatar Chris July 8, 2016 at 6:25 pm

I fear this whole thing is going to get us in a catch 22 on both sides.

On another note, we will have corrupt cops use this as an excuse to murder but we will also have well meaning good cops who will be too quick to react at smallest movement and out if fear for their own lives will draw and shoot.

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Avatar unwashedwallmartThong July 8, 2016 at 6:46 pm

A good read regarding U.S. slavery would be The Peculiar Institution: Slavery in the Ante-Bellum south by Kenneth M. Stampp.

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Avatar Rufus July 9, 2016 at 7:50 am

Oh lord, I could go on and on, but the bottom line here is that the solution to the racial animus that plagues the black community can only be solved by the black community.

Unfortunately we have put our trust in self aggrandizing race pimps who earn their personal fortunes by fomenting trouble and not seeking solutions.

Yes, we must beware of the false profit.

A great place to start is to look back to the words and actions of Martin Luther King, Jr. Embrace positive change, reject violence.

Again, the solutions must come from within the black community. Whites, Lations, Asians, can’t “fix” this.

Now back to regularly scheduled programming.

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Avatar M July 9, 2016 at 9:09 am

Disagree. The country needs unity and to stand against the violence against the black community. Social justice movements need allies. The black communities have known about the police violence for decades. The rest of us are finally being forced to wake up because now people have video cameras capturing the events. You can’t bury your head in the sand once you’ve seen the evidence.

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Avatar RB July 9, 2016 at 9:56 am

It is a dark day for justice when You Tube videos replace the courts and street mobs replace juries……..

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Avatar Rufus July 9, 2016 at 12:22 pm

Sorry, prophet, not profit. The old brain is moving slow this morning.

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