Race issues are clearly real. You can see it in these responses alone. Escalating this argument will not get anyone anywhere. Charles was well within his right to post an op-ed from his perspective. This is America. He can write about how amazing the red skies at night are, and that's his right. @HardTruth and @@peace are well within their rights to post their opinions in response. However, the one thing that EVERYONE in this thread, media, politics, the inner cities, the boonies, and the burbs seems to be forgetting, is that America is supposed to be a melting pot. Our language divides us. Even in late 2013, we still call people black, white, turban-heads, gay, straight, guidos, yellow, and any number of other segregation-oriented descriptors. How can these chunks of stew melt together when we still think in these terms?
Until we, as a whole, can admit that we're American People (not gay white male, straight black female, trans asian, et. al.) hate speech will continue. Personally, I think if media were to refer to everyone as "citizen", the lines imposed (self imposed or not) on people would be a whole lot harder to see. Think of how this would be if the headlines had read "Officer Shoots Citizen in Charlotte Neighborhood". Would race wars be the first thing people jump to, or would it be the officer's ability to react appropriately? It's high time we improve our language to remove the divide between members of the American race. That's what it boils down to. Sure, I come from Irish decent, but at the end of the day, as much as I appreciate what my great grandcestors went through, I'm not them. I'm a new generation in a new time; I'm an American and nothing else. Nothing else should matter. My rights are just as important as yours, and your rights are just as important as mine. We're from the same country, living at the same time, wanting to live a good life.
My wife and I are raising our children this way. If they see a same-sex couple, they don't flinch. Love is love. Until recently, my eldest didn't even notice a difference between skin color (which raised all sorts of questions about why people have different skin color). This is where we need to be going. I'm not white, I'm a mix of heritages that culminated into the here and now.
I think Mr. Easley is entirely valid in his points of view. Present circumstances and his experience led him there. Authority figures are way more likely to overreact towards minority offenders because of stereotypes regarding aggression. I also think HardTruth is right in regards to the need to lose the race card-flag-thingie. The difference is, I'm not going to delude myself into thinking that the race card-flag-thingie isn't at all valid. Rather than his method of "get over it", I think we should learn to forgive the past for its sins (which are well documented and numerous) and adopt a more blended mentality. If we can stop thinking of ourselves as separate groups living near each other and think more along the lines of neighbors and brothers, then race won't matter.
Not to repeat myself, we can't overcome racial profiling until we can overcome our own language. I'd love it if this could be eliminated over the next few decades. If for no other reason, maybe there'll be a little less vitriol in article responses online.
Mr. Easley was a teacher of mine at AICH. I can say that he is one of the single most open-minded people I have ever met. He never cared about which of his students came from where. Everyone got a chance to be creative. It was our work that defined who we were. It was our thoughts and intentions that defined our character. It was our willingness that defined our fortitude. To him, ideas were currency. I'm glad he's writing now, because he was rich as hell back in class. Keep making people expand their thoughts Mr. E.
@CoSign Redux My apologies for not responding to your earlier comment. I like you get frustrated with the expectation that I somehow need an APA style citation page for every point I make as a minority while other folks get to share vile caustic remarks freely. Thank you for reading and your passionate response! Like most folks I know you have other important things to do so you respond and keep it moving.
Fact Check Folks, Jennifer Roberts was a Morehead Scholar, not a Morehead-Cain Scholar. The two foundations did not join forces until 2007.
Charles is a coward and race baiter. You honestly think he'll respond?
I'd be willing to bet the whoever posted the comment above makes money off of mugshots...
"not one single county government in this state that publishes distinguished convict info like they do arrest info."
Not True. I found all the convict info for the guy who started The Slammer through a simple google search:
Do your research.
Maybe u need to learn how to get ur facts straight before you go posting things that aren't correct. That is my grandmother that you are going into such graphic detail about.
Ana...I'm assuming you were still in school during the debacle that was her tenure in the county commission. She was a divisive do-nothing as a county chair...is this a Halloween prank or something?
The point is that if you decide to bike on a busy road, don't be surprised if you get ran over on that same busy road---Do you think it would be wise for a mother to walk with her baby stroller and her 14 month old child on the non-existent shoulder during rush hour? No? Then what makes you think its a bright Idea to ride a bike? Because you are going 17 mph faster than the walking mother?
Dead is dead------who's fault it is really doesn't matter-----
@WEWSR It is definitely a work in progress. We have to first admit the ugly truth that there is a problem before we can address it. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts.
What are we going to do to help stop situations like this and improve race relations?
So you have always been an activist....smile Great article!
@Tony-Tony Stark I really miss our intellectual pow wows back in the day at CAU but I am always excited when you lend your very insightful and learned perspective to any topic. I love your last suggested commercial as it proves the point I make that these images are so historical and prevalent that AA are not immune to them as well.
Thank you as always for reading and sharing our thoughts old friend!
The witty Geico double entendre had the pig “flying” first class and that combined with his smarts and technology sense, had to make him “high” on the “hog.”
Some interesting spins on what are some very somber topics on your part professor.
Mr. Ferrell’s fate was very unfortunate and that, in my estimation, exacerbated as he was massacred by those involved in his killing, perhaps as maybe a common pig, since that has entered to some degree this analysis.
Motorist pullovers for driver license and insurance checks can offer up a different set of considerations and views of officers, especially for people of color. Your precautions seem as practical as any, especially if they permit you to drive away largely intact.
Both of these cases cause us to reflect dutifully on how strained our relations, socially and otherwise, are in this country. We must insist better, do more.
We sometimes slough over who in theory empowers law enforcement and whom officers are suppose to be sworn to serve. Citizens should not expect to agree with every element that composes that “service” before they comply. But, neither should the public feel they have nothing to expect but what is assigned them as service. Bully service never builds what should be desired public trust.
We need another column in this discussion for the repugnance, haughtiness and loftiness too many of us have experience with officers for daring to seek a rationale for an action taken.
How reliant we have become on highly dramatic abuse reports/recordings before we revisit the notion that the Metropolis’ Finest is not all it should be. We have no reason to not believe that most officers perform their jobs laudably and have the public’s protection as their primary interests. However, we know too that public safety personnel are part of a well-guarded institution that has a host of reasons not to prefer a lot of scrutiny and transparency, especially when it comes to violation of civil liberties and rights.
Who of marginal intelligence believes for one moment that any real complaint against police treatment would ever see the light of day in an objective public safety review process?
With that said, there will always be more than an acorn of truth in good satire and apparently Geico is poised to uncover some.
I await another Geico TV ad on profiling that might take on the following contours:
Geico Pig: (Smugly looking ahead…) I bet you stopped me because of my age and this luxury car I am driving…
Officer: (Snorts): Not really… he takes the requested information and meanders back to his squad car.
A gasping Geico Pig now notices that he has been “profiled” by one of his own….
Change that reveals the greatest similarities…
How about that to beat a pig a pecking…?
You are either blind or ignorant if you actually believe that African Americans do not commit proportionally higher amounts of crime in this country. Look up any stats you want, it bears it out.
That is just simple ignorance if you believe otherwise.
The excuses would have validity 50 to 100 years ago. They don't hold water anymore. If anything, African Americans have more opportunities than any race in this country. Employers bend over backward to appear diverse and hire african americans even when they are not as qualified for jobs. Trust me, I've personally interviewed direct reports and have been pushed by human resources to hire the African American applicant over a more qualified one. I fight back to hire the qualified one. I'm happy to see that affirmative action bans are going to upheld in the supreme court. It's about time.
What would be refreshing is to hear more African Americans talk about working hard, getting an education, and earning their living. There are plenty who do, but unfortunately, the African American community values sports and a street lifestyle in many areas over education and work and even makes fun of those who do strive for excellence and become professionals.
Time to move on. Slavery was 150 years ago, I wasn't around, my parents weren't around, my grandparents and so on weren't around. It was a tragedy, but now you have had years with many programs in place to give African Americans opportunities, many of which have squandered. My people were once persecuted and killed to the brink of extinction, yet I don't use that as a crutch.
200% done with seeing shit like this everywhere I go, and I am taking it out on you.
Stereotypes exist so the majority can file away the minority in predictable, convenient, and seemingly easier categories. Because surely, stereotypes can't be individuals with their own minds, right? And they MUST be true, right!? It's not like they're there to keep those pesky minorities in line or anything. (Calling it now! You're just going to say it's all a conspiracy!)
And drop the respectability politics. You may not have quoted Bill Cosby, but you tried it anyway. An AA can do "everything right," including not following stereotypes, and still get killed. Telling us to "clean up the violence and crime" isn't going to do a damn thing. No matter how much money they make or how well-dressed and Corporate-English they speak, at the end of the day we are black and expendable. LeVar Burton knows this (http://www.theroot.com/buzz/reading-rainbow-hosts-new-lesson-how-avoid-being-shot-police). I know this. Easley knows this. You obviously still don't understand this.
We can look into our own community until the cows come home, but if the macrocosm still wants to oppress and stereotype us, what's your advice then? "Deal with it" ?!
And another thing: "reverse racism" is not a thing. Do not confuse discrimination with racism. Do your own legwork and follow the link: http://callingoutbigotry.tumblr.com/post/51288105158/why-reverse-racism-doesnt-exist
Speaking of legwork... "Charles, do you have any sort of data to back these claims up or is this forum just another typical whine fest?" What, you can comment on an article but can't Google your information? It's infuriating when not only we have to repeat ourselves, but have to tote around sources for folks who can't be bothered to do their own legwork. Go on. Google it. Wikipedia doesn't count. Obviously skewed-and-racist sources also don't count. Good luck!
"The Trayvon story commanded the headlines for a year and let's face it, this kid was on a one way path to prison or the morgue for a while."
The utter disrespect and out-of-touch with reality as to WHY said case took the news for a year (and never would have, if it weren't for social media blowing it out of obscurity!), and the "he was going to get locked up or die anyway"... I'm gobsmacked. I have no words. This is beyond insulting, and the only good response is one I probably should not post on Creative Loafing.
That is all I am going to say to you, because clearly you are not worth more of my time. While I know you're going to not take my comment to heart anyway, there are others that will hopefully come away with something from my words. And if not? Well, venting's good for you. So here I post.
@Asher Webb I am honored by your words. I also believe that you are an example of how we can influence one another regardless of our race, class, gender etc... Historically when I step into a classroom I am sharing my authentic self and my students who are typically a very diverse group benefit from that exchange. It allows us to see and connect with one another on a very profound level.
I applaud you for sharing your stats and historical perspective. I think that sometimes when this type of information comes from someone other than minorities it will have a different impact on the discussion.
Thank you for reading and your contribution to this subject and dialogue!
The hard truth that @HardTruth is unwilling to admit that stereotypes toward African-Americans permeate our culture. These stereotypes may in fact be sub-consciously held -- but nonetheless the outcomes are oppression and tragic situations such as the one discussed in this column. To me it shows that @HardTruth is trying to manipulate the facts of this situation in a very stereotypical manner -- by insinuating that this young man must have been high on drugs or alcohol at the time of his crash and murder with absolutely no evidence. My guess is that @HardTruth would assume any young black male between the ages of 15 and 35 driving late night is under the influence of drugs or alcohol and therefore a target for police brutality. People like @HardTruth would never admit to the fact that institutional racism was invented to keep African-Americans in this country enslaved for 300+ years. Nor would @HardTruth ever admit to police racial profiling, or that the drug war and judicial system in this country have been biased against minorities -- for proof on that just look at the disproportionate sentencing between crack offenders and cocaine offenders. Look at the fact that white Americans have been capitalizing their wealth for centuries, much of it earned on the backs of indentured servants and slaves, whereas African Americans never even got 40 acres and a mule. And to get more into modern American history look at the ways in which African Americans WWII vets were discriminated against during the GI Housing bill that brought economic advancements to their white counterparts.
on stereotypes -- the officer shooting this man was a tragic example of this type of stereotyping:
Mr. Easley's column really is what is needed in this country -- a contribution to a true dialog on stereotyping and race relations in this country. It is the class structure and income inequality that lies beneath many of the ways race has been constructed in this country -- will leave that for a different day...
Charles, do you have any sort of data to back these claims up or is this forum just another typical whine fest? Are AAs sentenced disproportionately or do they commit a(n), overwhelmingly, disporportionate amount of crime which in turn leads to more, but not necessarily disporportionate, sentencing? Any data, at all, whatsoever?
There's claims on here saying the media overreports crimes by AAs. Really? I gave you two links to horrific crimes that were pretty much completely ignored by the mainstream media. The Trayvon story commanded the headlines for a year and let's face it, this kid was on a one way path to prison or the morgue for a while. What do you think would have happened if two white brothers did that to a group of AAs in Wichita? Pretty sure that would have made the news.
You've insinuated that I was assuming all AAs are on social assistance, which I didn't even sort of do, but then I provided a link to that Wal Mart story where looking for a white person in that video is pretty much a game of Where's Waldo. I guess it's just all the AAs in that one city.
Are you sure these are stereotypes? Have you ever stopped to consider whether they're not?
@Peace This officer just happened to be white but I have been stopped and treated in a similar fashion by black police officers some more aggressive than their white counterparts. I said that African-Americans are not immune to the persona that is so pervasive when it comes to black men.
Your point of AA committing a proportional large amount of crime is another media exaggerated fact. The true fact is that AA are sentenced disproportionately than their mainstream counterparts when committing the exact same offense.
AA did not create these historical stereotypes but what is always amusing is that the marginalized group is suppose to fix and prepare a problem that we all have to take responsibility in creating and sustaining.
Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts on this subject.
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