You might think that most people, after the killing of a Skiddles wielding Florida teenager shot for the crime of wearing a hoodie in the gated community where his father resided, after the strangulation death of a non-resisting Eric Garner by the NYPD for selling self-rolled cigarettes, and after the "unfortunate death" of an innocent 36 year old father of five, Dante Parker, by multiple taser shocks administered by "Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies" while handcuffed after being arrested for a crime he did not commit, would be willing acknowledge that - yes - the killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, who fired a barrage of bullets at him even as Brown attempted to first flee and then surrender, just might have something to do with the race of those who were killed and the men who killed them.
And you would be right to assume that - with one significant caveat, however. As long as you restricted the group of "most people" to people of African American descent, you would be right. Because, according to a recently released PEW poll, less than 40% of white people agree that Michael Brown's death at the hand's of police officer Wilson had much whatsoever to do with the issue of race in America.
By about four-to-one (80% to 18%), African Americans say the shooting in Ferguson raises important issues about race that merit discussion. By contrast, whites, by 47% to 37%, say the issue of race is getting more attention than it deserves. [...]
Whites also are nearly three times as likely as blacks to express at least a fair amount of confidence in the investigations into the shooting. About half of whites (52%) say they have a great deal or fair amount of confidence in the investigations, compared with just 18% of blacks. Roughly three-quarters of blacks (76%) have little or no confidence in the investigations, with 45% saying they have no confidence at all.
I suppose I shouldn't be surprised by those numbers (by the way, with respect to the question of whether "race is getting more attention than it deserves" in the Brown case, 16% of whites answered they didn't know enough to - well, know if race mattered or not, a somewhat surprising statistic itself). That less than four white people in ten even considers that the death by cop of an unarmed black teenager merits a discussion of the racial disparity in our country between how law enforcement treat African Americans versus how they treat White Americans, is still, nonetheless, a sobering statistic. We are, after all the nation that fought a civil war over the issue of slavery, and the same nation that waited another 100 years - the years of "Jim Crow" enforced segregation, violence by the KKK and the brutal mob lynchings of thousands of black people, before enacting laws to enforce the standards of equality for all Americans set forth in the 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution.
And we are the nation that has seen a record rise in hate crimes against blacks and other minorities, and a massive increase in the growth of white supremacist movements and militias and other hate groups since the election of our first African American President. Yet, after the recent notoriety of so many young black men dying under suspicious circumstances at the hands of either police or white vigilantes like George Zimmerman, I hoped for better from those Americans who share with me a melanin deficiency. I should have been more cynical. Guess I'm just another ...
At least I'm not a blind one, though.
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