The Color of Character

More to be Outraged About

Group of black urban youth with gunsThe recent shooting of Laquan McDonald has anyone who has seen the video disturbed. It is difficult to find a reason why after one bullet to the shoulder brought the young man to the ground, it was necessary to fire any more shots. Knife or no knife, had Officer Van Dyke held his fire after that first shot, Laquan McDonald could then have been arrested, and tried for the crimes he allegedly committed that lead to his confrontation with police. Most importantly, he would be alive today. This incident, when heaped on other highly publicized incidents of excessive police force, is driving many to outrage, taking to the street, and demanding change and accountability from those in positions of authority.

There are many more numerous incidents going on daily that don’t elicit the same outrage – at least not visibly. They are the mass of daily attacks in our cities perpetrated by young men of color. There are no protests, riots, or demands for accountability on the part of our various communities who have a hand in this horrendous violence. While a percentage of us are out demonstrating, or at least voicing agreement with the protesters (if not their method of blocking retail stores) to force the resignations of certain city and county leaders, another unknown percentage of us watch silently, angrily, and with frustration. The second, less visible group might agree that we have serious problems; that there are injustices perpetrated, and that there needs to be accountability. But they see other videos that point to this other, seemingly intractable issue of black urban crime that is not un-related to the problem of excessive police force.  No one seems willing to address the subject, out of personal or political fear, indifference, or because it doesn’t play well in the media.

Here is one story, and then a second story that are getting attention, but surprisingly there are no protesters in the street, or angry citizens and groups in the media spotlight. And that’s what has many Americans angry and frustrated.

As a reader recently pointed out to me, there are groups working quietly and diligently on the scourge of black urban crime, but they sure could use the vocal support of a President Obama, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and all the Black Lives Matter protesters and supporters across the country to boost their efforts.

I think there would be many more people working together to solve these two problems of excessive violence, if everyone acknowledged they both exist, and that they are somehow linked.

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