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Friday, December 15, 2017
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On Relations Between African-American Citizens and Law Enforcement

Let’s accept two facts: too many police officers have been killed in the line of duty. Too many black people have been killed.

What is not so clear are the questions about why those killings are occurring, and even less clear is what can be done about the closely interrelated problems. What is clear is that past efforts have been insufficient. I would posit that the reason is politics which has clouded and evaded putting real effort into a solution in many locales. Many police agencies have made real efforts to learn what is wrong and what needs to be done to fix the problems caused by explosive interactions between blacks and police (of any color). Overall, the results have been dismal, as evidenced by the spate of killings during 2016.

I propose a simple, but naïve solution: get the cops and the decent people of the ghettoes together in a nonconfrontational series of neighborhood meetings so they can identify and correct the problems. To do so will be monumentally difficult for several reasons: local police and city, county, state, and national law enforcement leaders will have to deal with the very real and continuing evil of racism. Racist law enforcement officers will have to be rooted out which will require stepping on the civil rights of those officers; new laws will have to be drafted that will prevent racist officers from ever being hired and will require objective overview of individual serving officers to determine if they are racists and get rid of them. The obverse side of that coin is to ensure protections for nonracist officers who become political victims of hate mongers in the ghetto public—victims of such so-called “black leaders” as Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, or the heads of the dangerous “Black Lives Matter” organization.

I recognize that many readers of this blogspot will cry “racist” when they see the following recommendations which involve changes that must come from the black community—both in and out of the ghettoes. First of all, there are highly successful, even famous black men and women who rival their white counterparts in our competitive society without conflict from their differing racial backgrounds. Several important ceilings have been broken through: we have a black president; there are a plethora of successful black CEOs, male and female; there are tenured professors, prominent physicians and lawyers and clergy; admirals and generals, and of course, there are the highly visible beautiful black people in the media and entertainment venues, sports heroes, and commentators. They do very well despite or because of being black, and all power to them. In my opinion, they should enter into an involvement with those black people whose lives are not nearly so beautiful and fulfilling. They should lend their prominence to help other blacks to create communities where there are fathers in families; people work for a living, children get an education; black girls are protected from predatory males; drug dealers are sent packing; people cooperate with police who come to help them when they are beset by criminals; and the escalating tendency for black men and women to have adverse relationships with the judicial system is reversed.

Then, there are the people who live in the terrible conditions of racial ghettoes. I am not so naïve as to think that any amount of persuasion will cause change in the current subculture of drug addicts, illicit drug purveyors, gang members, and career criminals. Rather, my message is to the majority of people who live in and suffer from the conditions of America’s inner cities. The message is to the good man who serves as a father, provider, and protector for his wife and his sons and daughters—the man who gets up early, takes his lunch pail and goes off for a full day’s work and comes home without stopping by a bar to help his wife with family affairs and to play with his children; in short, the decent man who struggles against insuperable odds to get his children educated enough to get up and out of the ghetto, the man who respects law enforcement officers and hopes that he will also be treated with respect. This message is for the remarkable, almost superhuman, women who struggle to preserve their children and grandchildren from the temptations and predations of the gangs and from racist and uncaring police officers.

The message is: form committees of the decent and nonracist police officers and the decent family people living in the black ghettoes. Create positive relationships starting with the small numbers involved in such committees and from those committees and relationships convey requests to law enforcement and governmental administrations to make sensible and reasonable changes and to bring into the ghettoes only objective nonracist and respectful police officers. The corollary message to come from such committees is for them to communicate to their neighbors—we will not lie or cheat or steal, and we will not tolerate those who do, including the omnipresent gangs. We must report criminal activity to police, be willing to testify to what we know about criminal activity, be respectful to law enforcement officers including a willingness not to entice police into potentially violent situations with a small army of onlookers with their ever handy cell phones to photograph the police as they attempt to make peace, be willing to accept that the judicial system is the place to adjudicate issues, not the streets.

It will take years for such a system to be developed. If the committees are not created, the bloodletting will continue and the people of the ghettoes will suffer. As seemingly unfair as it may be, the bulk of change has to come from African-Americans of all stations in life. The drug and gang culture can only be eradicated by good black people cooperating with honorable police officers. Get rid of the self-seeking “black leaders” and replace them with the decent family man with his lunch pail and his back breaking job and the woman whose main objective in life is to see her offspring succeed.

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