BOTTOM-LINE… Publisher’s Commentary by Wallace J. Allen
The nation was shocked with the recent release of a video depicting New York police chocking a Black man to death. As the impact of that visual was fading from the front pages, yet another incident was reported on the alarming news of a police shooting and killing an unarmed Black male in Missouri. Several days later the Los Angeles Police Department shot and killed a Black male and one day later on August 12, a San Bernardino County Deputy Sheriff electrocuted a Black Male by tasing him multiple times.
These police killings, though shocking to all, still represent old news to many in the Black community. As the Black Male body count continues to climb, social media and internet journalism push today’s speedy flow of information, giving a new focus to the police killing spree. As heart wrenching and predictable as the years of police killings of Black males can be, the fact is that society has reacted as if each killing is an isolated event; however, social media and the general press’ struggle to deliver “breaking news” have caused “real time” response to the killings allowing the public to see the frequency of police killings.
I regard the police killings of Black men as a symptom of the “State of Emergency” that exists in America. America’s potential has been warped since her birth, resulting from being nursed by the lie of white supremacy. Some of us realize the great human potential that is sacrificed in the name of racism. That racism starts to express itself in pre-school, and is documented in the disproportionate statistics that describe dropout rates, unemployment rates, and ultimately the incarceration rates for Black Males. If the white population matched the dropout, unemployment and incarceration rates of Black Males, a “State of Emergency” would surely be instituted, and solutions solicited.
Today’s racism is an echo of the past. A past, not forgotten, and certainly, not corrected. The stain is deep in the fabric and therefore the fabric needs deep cleaning. We need to do as much to change it as we did to arrange it. What was targeted for destruction must now be targeted for construction! Any true depiction of America’s history will show the consistent rate of contribution by Blacks to America’s growth and development, from Crispus attucks to Barack Obama. The bulk of those contributions were made despite race-based barriers. Trading Black male potential for a few jobs in jails and correctional institutions is a bad investment, especially when one considers the social benefit that comes when race based barriers are replaced with efforts to target Black men for development.
Racism has isolated and targeted Black males for destruction and all of America is suffering for it. There are things that can be done to change the potential of Black men, and thus the potential of America. There are some quick fixes as well as long term projects and campaigns that I will suggest in this as well as in future writings. There is a tendency among people who know that they have been maliciously mistreated to want to “get even”. I submit that, “You cannot get ahead if your goal is to get even”!
One quick fix that has long term benefits is, ‘Public Service and Safety Training.’ All citizens, Black men in particular, should be given the opportunity to learn to become first responders. We cannot predict who will be in a position to provide first response care at an emergency; therefore, training first responders is a public benefit. Status and self esteem is a personal upgrade for the trainee and a societal asset in case of emergency. Businesses can sponsor public safety teams as a means of advertising and public relations.
This is not the greatest idea in the world, but it is based on “getting ahead” as opposed to “getting even”. What do you think? Please write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.