The ugly racial wounds of the USA have again been bruised. Scars of long-healed wounds have been exposed and are being displayed on the National stage. Here we go again gazing into the complex racial maze trying to have a national discourse about how to get along.
Rodney King uttered those words pleading for calm. He was brutalized by three ‘white’ and one Hispanic Los Angeles Police Department officers following a high-speed pursuit. When a jury acquitted the officers, it ignited a terrible riot during which 53 people died, thousands were injured and destroyed properties topping roughly $1 billion.
In Georgia, Troy Davis a ‘black’ man was put to death by the State because he was found guilty of killing a ‘white’ Police officer even after much credible evidence later proved to cast shadows of doubt on him being the alleged killer.
The News world descended upon Durham, North Carolina, for the Duke University Lacrosse team rape case. We were captured by a play-by-play detail of how evil ‘white’ men victimized a poor ‘black’ woman.
And who will forget how the National News again reminded us of the racially motivated murder of James Byrd in Jasper, Texas, committed by three white men, who were supposedly white supremacists.
In January 2007, two ‘whites’, Channon Christian and Chris Newsom, were brutally murdered. Five ‘blacks’ were charged with the horrifying crime in a bizarre case that tore at the heart of a Knoxville, Tennessee community. In this case, the National news did not give the same attention to it like it did other racial
Recently, the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed ‘black’ youth, by George Zimmerman, a Hispanic man under confusing circumstances have once again exposed the raw nerves of the racial attitudes in our nation.
The dynamics of these crimes are befuddling. Largely when the suspects are ‘Black’, and the victims ‘White’ the rage seems to be muffled and confined to the local community. But when the suspect is ‘white’ and the victim is ‘black’ then the story receives an entirely different national treatment. Add props of political correctness to the stage and there are real lights and action!
Many people are asking why the inequities in reporting and the difference in outrage on the national level? A crime is a crime but why the irksome racial tints?
I’m amazed by how the media frenzy captivates most of us unsuspecting masses, leading us in an orgy of racial blame games characterized by rallies and protests. These gatherings are usually adorned with leaders, some of who are opportunistic and void of true vision. They throw out dog bones and cotton candy problem-solving slogans and clichés to appease the hungry souls of truly desperate citizens bemoaning perceived and often blatant injustices.
I believe most people are tired of knee-jerk reactions and political correctness in dealing with our racial conversation. Although not sure, I strongly think it is the height of naiveté to think that some racial attitudes probably do not contribute to these kinds of situations.
We’re forced as a nation to confront our fears, bias and prejudices. One thing is for sure. As long as the media stokes the fires of such stories with racial animosity, the monologue will never turn to a dialogue.
And so to answer the “can’t we all get along?” question. Not, when we keep gazing at the wrong places for answers. Even if by some miraculous human ingenuity we do get along, we’ll be busy building another Tower of Babel.