I honestly believe the most effective way to end discrimination among our nation’s police is to bring more minorities into their forces, especially to represent the population of their communities.
Irving, Texas, a suburb of Dallas, is a great example. 70% of the community is non-white but minorities only account for 17% of their police officers (as of 2013).
In a 2013 (which wasn’t that long ago) analysis, minorities only represented 24% of communities police forces in cities of 100,000 in comparison to the population. Have you said “wow” yet? I’ll do it for you. Wow!
I know that survey is two and a half years old, but 2013 wasn’t that long ago. I don’t believe significant improvements have been made in that time frame.
The recent killing of five policemen in Dallas is terrible of course, but why Dallas? Dallas is a city that’s actually worked very hard to improve their relationship with the black community. Of course I’m writing here from the standpoint that discrimination, and targeting of minorities by the police, is an accepted fact. A lot of people still refuse it to be true.
But whether you live in the real world or you still have your head up your ass, changes have to me made. This is a country that was built on slavery and suppression. Society can’t exist now with white people saying “hey, you can vote now. Shut up and ignore the problems.” Just because the president is partly African-American (a good thing in itself) does not mean racism has been eliminated. If anything, it’s brought it out more into the open. Go read a McCoy or Branco political cartoon (google. I’m gonna get some emails and Facebook messages for that.) It’s not that I think they’re so much racists, as much as their white privilege is threatened.
I hate the black friend defense being used in an argument. But having friends from different backgrounds is good for you. Having friends who happen to be black (I’m talking to white people here) will not hurt you. I think if your coworker happens to be a different race than you, then maybe you will eventually see the world with a broader vision.
The first step in improving the relationship between police and the communities they serve is to make the police force look more like their community. A lot of cities are working on this and making progress. But the word “progress” means it’s still moving forward. We’re not there yet.
It’s time to wake up. It’s also time to stop killing people because a different race scares you.
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