John Hawkins listed several lessons to be learned from the Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown cases. Here are 5 very important ones:
From John: “The numbers can vary depending on whose statistics you’re looking at, but using the best estimate available, black Americans seem to be 3 times more likely to die at the hands of the police than white Americans. Could there be a possible explanation for this that goes beyond racism? Actually, yes.
Today blacks are about 13 percent of the population and continue to be responsible for an inordinate amount of crime. Between 1976 and 2005 blacks committed more than half of all murders in the United States. The black arrest rate for most offenses — including robbery, aggravated assault and property crimes — is still typically two to three times their representation in the population. Blacks as a group are also overrepresented among persons arrested for so-called white-collar crimes such as counterfeiting, fraud and embezzlement.
Percentage-wise, black Americans are much more likely to commit crimes and so, it’s not a surprise that they’re more likely to end up in potentially dangerous conflicts with police officers. Encouraging black Americans to be hostile to police officers, which is sadly all too common, only exacerbates the problem by making cops more suspicious and by making black Americans more likely to do potentially dangerous things around the police. The vast majority of black Americans are decent, law-abiding people and it’s sad that some of them are afraid of the police. That’s an issue that police departments should do much more to address, but unless they’re met halfway by community leaders who are willing to work with the cops, any effort is doomed to fail.
3. You better arm yourself because you can’t count on the police to protect you.
John writes, “The mainstream media helped create the angst over Trayvon Martin and the riots in Ferguson. NBC falsely claimed George Zimmerman used a racial slur and edited his call to the police to make him sound bad while the whole media used an old picture of Trayvon Martin that made people think he was 12. On the eve of the Grand Jury verdict in the Michael Brown case, the New York Times published THE STREET Darren Wilson lives on with his new wife. Beyond those egregious offenses, the mainstream media helped create many of the initial myths about both cases, was slow to correct the facts and habitually slanted its news coverage to portray Zimmerman and Wilson as guilty, even when it didn’t fit the facts. Everyone knows the mainstream media is biased, but when its coverage plays a role in getting people’s businesses burned to the ground, it has gone too far.”
He continues, “It’s extremely ironic that most of the businesses that burned in Ferguson were minority-owned because black leaders like Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton, the New Black Panthers and, yes, Eric Holder and Barack Obama helped make it happen. Yes, they gave bloodless, CYA condemnations of violence, and then went back to hyping people up instead of calming them down. See, when people get mad, they give donations. Peace doesn’t make money. Peace doesn’t get your name in the newspaper. Peace doesn’t get anyone on TV.Follow enlightenedlbrl