By Tim Spiess
September 19th, 2016
This is the current debate that is raging in the U.S. Many people of African descent – ‘black people’ –have been discriminated against in their lives. Whether that discrimination came from a single person, or at some organizational or institutional level, most black people have experienced being treated inappropriately due simply to the color of their skin. It seems a fact difficult to deny that black people do experience more “discrimination” (defined as being treated in a negative or unfair way) than non-black people.
Some black people believe that the phrase “All Lives Matter” is a slight on what they believe is disproportional discrimination against black people. They believe that changing the slogan to “All Lives Matter” hides, minimizes, or takes the spotlight off what they are trying to proclaim - that the U.S. ‘society in general’ discriminates against black people. But is that true? Do the majority of people in the U.S. discriminate against black people? Let’s take a look at some facts to try and determine if the majority of people in the U.S. discriminate against black people.
There is no question that there remains in the U.S. many people who view ‘black’ people in a negative light. Whether they be bigots or ignorant or backwards or fearful - these people exist probably by the millions. The degree to which they see black people in a negative light varies. Most merely are more mistrusting of people who are different than they are, just like all human beings tend to be. Some have stronger stereotypes of black people and behave as such. A few actively seek to persecute or harm black people when they see an ‘opportunity’. Generally speaking, rural areas typically have more bigots than urban areas.
A black man was elected the President of the United States. The United States is a democracy and therefore the majority of people in the U.S. voted to have a black man as the nation’s leader. While this fact does NOT prove that all discrimination against black people has been removed from the U.S. society, it does indicate that systemic, institutional, large scale ‘organized’ discrimination against black people is not a reality.
It must also be noted that there are significant problems in the black community. 72% of black children are born to unmarried women and are raised by a single parent, usually the mother, while the national average of unmarried child bearing is 25%. The fact that only approximately a third of black men choose to be a responsible dad for the children they produced will have consequences. What message does that send to the young boys whose dads are only around when they feel like it? A message of commitment and being responsible for one’s actions? A message of selflessness and sacrifice for others?
It is also a fact, for example, that most of the violence and murders in the city of Chicago are perpetrated by black men. 75% of those murdered in Chicago are black and 71% of the murderers are black. In 2010, the racial mix in Chicago was 32% black, 45.3% white, 5% Asian and 3% mixed races. If the population in Chicago was 75% black, one could argue that the murder rates are proportional, but it is not – it is only 32%.
The simple truth is that ALL LIVES MATTER, INCLUDING black lives. The U.S. ‘society’ cannot make up for the past wrongs done to black people. But every individual is obligated to act rightly towards other individuals, no matter their skin color or other factors they cannot control. The statue representing justice, where the woman holding the scales is blind-folded, is the ideal – that people are not treated by how they look or by physical or demographic characteristics they cannot change, but rather by principles and how they choose to behave. Is this happening, and if not, why?
The Black Lives Matter (BLM) people believe that law enforcement officers – in general and across the U.S. - discriminate against young black men. There have been some instances that have been caught on camera, where the police did not handle the situation well – where the officers were too rough or too quick to use too much force resulting in the harm or death of the black citizen. There is no doubt that some police officers are prejudiced against people different from themselves, but the facts would suggest it is very few. An important distinction must be made between blaming prejudice and a disregard for law, rules or decent behavior.
There are hundreds of thousands of interactions between police and black citizens each day that do not result in the harming of black citizens. In addition, in the few cases where a black citizen was harmed or treated badly, it was almost never a situation where the officer had NO CAUSE to approach the citizen. In a few cases, clearly the young black man was not being a model citizen when they were approached by the police officer(s).
Furthermore, to deny that many young black men are often frustrated or angry is to deny reality. Some black ‘artists’ and others in the entertainment industry seem to thrive on making incendiary and unhelpful statements and on projecting anger against people different than themselves or who they see as ‘at fault’ for the black community’s problems.
The simple truth is that ANYTIME you start pointing out a person’s skin color instead of making judgements based on character and behavior, you already are either wrong or heading that way fast. For example, let’s say a man robbed a liquor store and that man’s skin color was ‘white’, and the news headline said, ‘White man robs liquor store’. Any comments regarding the man’s skin color is not helping bring justice to the criminal or peace to the victims. Rather, it is merely fomenting prejudice against a person based on some physical aspect of their person that has NO RELEVANCE to the crime or the solution to the crime. The ONLY way a comment like that would be relevant would be in the situation where the color of the perpetrators skin had some direct connection to the crime committed. For example, in the case of an Asian person murdering a ‘white supremacist’ who actively preached hatred towards Asians, that person’s race would be relevant.
What is the bottom line to the Black Lives Matter controversy? Here is a set of facts that present that bottom line:
Until the black community can fix this serious problem, they should be slow to blame others for some of the problems they experience. In particular, young men with no positive direction – who have been subjected to irresponsible dads - and who buy the cultural value of ‘money is the solution to my problems’ are going to do what they can to get money. Therefore, it should not be surprising that some of the angry black youth are in less than ideal situations where police involvement becomes necessary.
Isn’t it time to move on regarding the past wrongs done by white European bigots to African people and their descendants? If a generation or two of white people have openly admitted that what their parents, grand parents or great grandparents did regarding the slave trade and slavery in general was evil, why not put that behind you? Isn’t forgiveness superior to bitterness?
The solution is not a societal one. Rather, the solution is moral or spiritual. Everyone needs to know two things. First, that we set our after-life destiny by the choices we make in this life. Second, that we have a Father who loves us and cares about us. It is a basic fact of human life, that ON AVERAGE, children that have good dads who truly love them turn out to be better human beings than those who don’t. So, how can a person get to know the Father of their soul? A new book is out that goes right to the source and thus enables people in the clearest way possible, to know their Father and to love Him back!
Book available on Amazon - The Light of the World: The Life and Teachings of Jesus of Nazareth
Or free on this website in PDF here