I recieved this email from a friend and got permission to post it:

"I am black and know for a fact that not all white cops are racist. However,
since i have been in this country, i have never seen a video in which a
whiteman is beaten upon by the police or shot at simply because they assumed
he heard a gun. I can show you tonnes of videos of black people being beaten
senseless by white cops-- i am not too sure that this is just a statistical
coincidence. racism is still an issue in this country that needs to be
adressed and thats a fact that people cannot run away from."

First, thank you for your comments. You raise some interesting points. In America sensation rules. There is nothing sensational about a white cop subduing a white suspect. The reason we don't see it is because no one would watch it. White men are arrested, tried, and sent to jail every day and nobody cares. But let one black man resist arrest and it's all over the news from coast to coast.

When black suspects are involved there always seems to be an assumption that police officers have done something wrong or have some how provoked the suspect. When one points out that many black suspects go on to be tried and convicted after being arrested certain folks just say, "Well see, we told you they were all racist!" The fact that these individuals may actually have broken the law becomes irrelevant. The fact that Nathaniel Jones obviously assulted police officers who were attempting to communicate with him has been ignored by his "advocates". The fact that this man refused to comply with the police officers orders is ignored. As I mentioned before, the prevailing widosm amoung Mr. Jones' defenders is that the police officers MUST have done something to provoke this man into attacking them and refusing to obey their orders.

I don't think so. Race does play a crucial part in interactions between black suspects and white police officers but not for the reasons that most people think. A lot of what I think about this issue is based on the writing og John McWhorter in his book Losing the Race: Self Sabotage in Black America. It's a good read if you're interested.

Anyway, he writes that encounters between blacks and cops can go badly in part because blacks are prejudiced against cops. Imagine that you are told from your earliest days that cops are evil, they are all racists. Every time a black suspect fights with police it makes the evening news. You never actually spend any time around cops because every one tells that they are bad news. Then you have yout first encounter with police, say a routine traffic stop. What is going through your mind? Every bad thing you have heard about police officers all of your life.

This is of course assuming that you're innocent of the crime that the cops suspect you of committing.


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