June 11, 2020
I sincerely hope I misread or misunderstood Nancy Street’s letter to the editor last week. She used three underlying premisses that hopefully she didn’t intend, or if she did, to which I strongly object.
The first is that people “of European ancestry” (her term not mine) can’t or don’t feel enough outrage at the murder of George Floyd. Every one I have talked to about this murder is over the top outraged, regardless of “ancestry”. I think that charge is akin to someone saying that if you don’t live in New York you can’t feel enough outrage over 9-11. The media no longer shows the terrorist’s planes flying into the twin towers because it so outrages the American people at large.
Two others are the premisses behind the statement “…white people should realize that when calling the police on a black person, it could result in death.”
I find that statement to be racist in the extreme. It strongly implies that all or almost all black folks are criminals or that all or almost all criminals are black. Nothing could be further from the truth, and such sweeping statements are absurd.
The second underling premise is that most cops are white and just looking for an opportunity to kill some black folks. There are good folks and bad folks in every group of people. It is disingenuous to paint any one group with same brush. My intelligence guided by my life experience tells me that there are fewer bad folks among our law enforcement officers than among the population at large. But there are still a few. A tiny, tiny few. And those bad few should be rooted out hammer and tongs.
The bad actors in any group should be held accountable for their own bad actions. The individual is only responsible for their own actions. The group is not guilty of the bad actions of any one or even several of its individual members, regardless of how you wish to categorize or recategorize people into groups or subgroups. I find that labeling groups is most often done for pejorative reasons.
I stand against racism in any shape or form, even the “soft” bigotry as I hear it expressed in Nancy’s Street’s letter. In addition, I stand up for our good men and women who wear the uniform and are out there every day working hard to protect us all.
I sure hope I misunderstood what she was trying to express.