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America’s Racial Divide

Posted July 14th, 2016 at 5:20 pm (UTC-5)
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A horse-drawn carriage carried the body of Philandro Castile through the streets of St. Paul, Minnesota.

Law enforcement officer salute Dallas Police Sr. Cpl. Lorne Ahrens before his funeral service at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, Wednesday, July 13, 2016.  Ahrens and four other officers were slain by a sniper during a protest last week in downtown Dallas. (AP)

Law enforcement officer salute Dallas Police Sr. Cpl. Lorne Ahrens before his funeral service at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, Wednesday, July 13, 2016. Ahrens and four other officers were slain by a sniper during a protest last week in downtown Dallas. (AP)

More than a thousand miles to the south on Interstate 35, processions of hearses and police cars wound through the streets of Dallas, Texas and its suburbs, carrying the bodies of Officer Brent Thompson, Sgt. Michael Smith and Sr. Cpl. Lorne Ahrens. The scene will be repeated Friday and Saturday for the funerals of Officers Michael Krol and Patrick Zamarripa, all killed by a man seemingly bent on revenge for the death of Castille and others.

President Barack Obama convened a summit of sorts Wednesday. Black activists and law enforcement representatives exchanged ideas of how to bridge the divide between the police and people of color.

Obama said “we’re not even close to being where we want to be.” And from what’s being written and said, getting close will take many more conversations and understanding by both sides of the divide.

What the Left and Right Learned from Last Week’s Shootings

Jonah Goldberg – National Review

President Barack Obama, joined by Brittany Packnett, of the President's Taskforce on 21st Century Policing, right, and Terry Cunningham, President of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, left, speaks to media at toward the end of a White House meeting about community policing and criminal justice with a group made of activists, civil rights, faith, law enforcement and elected leaders. July 13, 2016 (AP)

President Barack Obama, joined by Brittany Packnett, of the President’s Taskforce on 21st Century Policing, right, and Terry Cunningham, President of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, left, speaks to media at toward the end of a White House meeting about community policing and criminal justice with a group made of activists, civil rights, faith, law enforcement and elected leaders. July 13, 2016 (AP)

At least for a moment, antagonists on either side of polarizing issues could see beyond the epistemic horizon of their most comfortable talking points. Black Lives Matter activists thanked the police for their protection and sacrifice. Conservative Republicans, most notably House Speaker Paul Ryan and former speaker Newt Gingrich, spoke movingly about race in America. Gun-rights activists were dismayed that Philando Castile, the man shot by a police officer in Minnesota, had followed all of the rules — he had a gun permit, cooperated with the officer, etc. — and was still killed. Liberals who insist that rhetoric from their political opponents inspires violence were forced to consider whether rhetoric from their allies might have helped inspire the shooter in Dallas….

Just as conservatives need to recognize the ills of police abuse, liberals need to acknowledge that the first obligation of the state is to defend the safety and property of its citizens, and that nothing undermines the legitimacy of the law more than vilifying those sworn to uphold it.

There Is Terror on Both Sides of the Badge

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – Time

I take great pride in the fact that my grandfather and father were both dedicated law enforcement officers. They spent their lives putting the needs of the community over their own needs, sometimes at the risk of their lives. So I am especially reluctant to throw blanket accusations without a thorough investigation—in the same way that, as an African American, I am reluctant to throw blanket accusations based on ethnicity. I don’t endorse mob justice or vigilante violence. Lynching is lynching, whether it’s in the press or in the streets.

Killers are not freedom fighters. When a person picks up a gun with the intention of going on a murder spree—whether it’s in Orlando or Dallas—he’s not striking a blow for justice. He’s actually expressing the opposite sentiment: that he’s abandoned all hope of justice and is committing a meaningless act of frustration. He’s not defending people or moral principles. He’s selfishly venting his own anger. Nothing more.

WATCH: Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, the lone black Republican in the Senate, explain how he has been racially profiled by police, including by Capitol Police while he’s been a senator. He delivered this speech on the Senate floor July 13, 2016.

I’m Worried About My Dad

Marisa Renee Lee – CNN

I fear the consequences that could arise from my father simply being himself. He is 6’4″, 240 pounds, and dark skinned. He is known for being loud, outgoing and silly. Whether I want to admit it or not, I get a lot of who I am from him. He raised me to be both cocky and kind, and to never be intimidated by anyone or anything, and that is how he lives his life. My dad and I both believe that rules are generally meant to be broken, especially in the interest of fun, and we can talk our way out of just about anything.

And it’s this cocksure attitude we share that makes me afraid. That attitude, coupled with the color of his skin, is a dangerous combination in America.

No, ‘Black Lives Matter’ Is Not ‘Inherently Racist’

Jonathan Capehart – The Washington Post

Folks, I’ve run out of things to say. The ignorance flowing out of the mouths of politicians has me reaching for words I’ve already written. So, let me restate some of them. The best way to understand the meaning of the phrase “Black Lives Matter” is to think of it as an incomplete sentence. To those African Americans and other Americans marching to protest lives extinguished by law enforcement, the unspoken finish to the phrase “Black Lives Matter” is “as much as anyone else’s.”

The funeral procession for Philando Castile travels from the St Paul Cathedral in St Paul, Minnesota, U.S. July 14, 2016.  (Reuters)

The funeral procession for Philando Castile travels from the St Paul Cathedral in St Paul, Minnesota, U.S. July 14, 2016. (Reuters)

Why Don’t These #BlackLivesMatter?

Brian C. Joondeph – American Thinker

This week adds more names to the short list of now famous police shooting victims. More black lives that matter….

Then there are these names: Dantrell Davis. Ryan Harris. Eric Morse. Anyone heard of them?…The three above names are black children killed in Chicago. Do their lives matter?

There are plenty more. Blair Holt, 16-year-old shot to death while riding a CTA bus in Chicago. Derrion Albert, also 16, fatally beaten in Chicago. Jonylah Watkins. a toddler killed in a Chicago drive-by shooting….

Don’t these Black Lives Matter? Why aren’t they household names? Where is the media? Where is the president or the attorney general? Where are Jesse and Al? Are the only black lives that matter ones who are shot by law enforcement, typically during the commission of a crime?

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