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View Diary: Why do we fear young Black men? (169 comments)

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  •  I Like Your Approach (18+ / 0-)

    To this discussion and thank you for continuing it.  It's needed.

    I personally think that ending the media perp walks as well as a conscious effort to expand media images of the overwhelming number of young Black males doing the right things (and many doing great things) would help.  But I admit that I feel that steps like these are long-term game changers, not short ones.  Racist perceptions once formed are extremely resistant to change and, as you rightfully note, the heuristic of availability plays an enormous role in that.  It will be at least a generation or two before ideas like this have an impact.

    The more immediate solution? I'm accepting of the idea that folks are going to be afraid for now.  I'm far less so when it comes to folks being afraid yet out there fronting about how "not racist" they are.  Especially when it comes to liberals.  That's because it is this latter behavior that puts young Black men most at risk: they are not being killed by the Klan, they are being killed by folks most of whom would insist there isn't a racist bone in their body.  Short of mandated individual therapy I don't know how you go about it other than doing things like mandating significant education (and when I say significant, I mean a lot, not just the single course or two most have) of all responder personnel, taught by Black people and ideally Black men, so that folks can be held accountable if and when "mistakes" like the many I diaried a couple of weeks ago happen. In this area, I do feel strongly that the negative reinforcement approach of meaningful consequences will make a short-term dent in the things I am most concerned about.  Regular old folks will see this and know that no matter how afraid they are, or might be, they'd better give more than a passing thought before they undertake any behavior that puts a young Black man at risk, i.e. shooting them.

    Just thoughts.  Thanks again for this very thoughtful diary.

    •  I really like the idea of having responders (11+ / 0-)

      taught by black men.  And holding them accountable when they make deadly mistakes.

      Part of the problem is that the ones who make "mistakes" get a slap on the wrist or off scot free. Like Johannes Mehserle who murdered Oscar Grant.

      It makes a real statement about the value of young black/latino lives.  Zero.

      Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

      by Denise Oliver Velez on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 12:25:03 PM PST

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    •  Teach the children. (5+ / 0-)

      I see, around my neighborhood, and sometimes on the subway (NYC) groups of teenagers, boys and girls together, all races together, and they don't seem to even notice each other's colors. I assume that these kids were thrown together in very integrated settings from a very young age, by parents with attitudes like mine: we don't want to be racist, and we fight it whenever we're aware of it, but we  recognize that given how and when we were brought up, we can never be completely colorblind. But we can try to get rid of racism in the next generation.

      It's hard to overcome that very early learning. I am white, have black family by marriage who are very dear to me, and still I know it's in me.

      "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

      by sidnora on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 02:00:58 PM PST

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    •  I do think that the media is getting better (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      plf515

      on the fiction side although it still has a long way to go.  I'm mid-40's and even into my teens and early 20's, there were  no Black TV characters  I can recall who weren't the stock villains  of the day, except in sitcoms.  Now, almost every show I watch (admittedly, a small number) has one or more Black characters who are the 'good guys.'   The news/non-fiction side of things is harder.  I live in the DC metro market, and we see a lot of coverage of crime where the perpetrators or suspects were Black, but also plenty that involve other races.  Honestly, I mostly avoid the crime coverage because I hate the whole idea...it serves little purpose except to stir up fear.
        I'm also totally not a fan of the 'reality' and 'true crime' shows--seems like wallowing in other people's misery to me.  

      "Going to church does not make us Christians any more than stepping into our garage makes us a car." --Rev R. Neville

      by catleigh on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 03:58:23 PM PST

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