Perceptions on race from the Black perspective

If this country is really going to have an honest conversation about ‘race relations’ the Black community is going to have to come to the table of reconciliation with honesty and truth.

Protestors in Oakland, CA. Photo by Annette Bernhardt, Flickr Creative Commons.
Protestors in Oakland, CA. Photo by Annette Bernhardt, Flickr Creative Commons.

WASHINGTON, Aug. 17, 2015 — Tunnel vision usually refers to a medical condition that limits a person’s vision to a restricted central area of the normal visual field. Unfortunately, this seems to be a tragic condition spreading cancerously throughout the black community.

Facts no longer matter. This myopic approach to perceived injustices pushes the sufferer’s viewpoint out of focus. As a result, whenever something bad creates a victim, real or perceived, in the black community, that something bad is magnified. It nourishes the common belief that every bad event is an affront, and a deliberate one, to the entire black community.

This situation is made worse when civic leaders and community agitators add fuel to the fire with contentious rhetoric.

Historical facts and current data and statistics are excluded from the equation. Thus, when people in the black community declare that racism and discrimination are more rampant now than at any other time since slavery, they do a disservice to the black community. They ignore the progress made by blacks in the workplace, housing, institutions of education, finance, politics and in the sports and entertainment worlds.

In addition, they ignore the fact that America elected a black president — twice.

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When black leaders ask, What has the white man, or for that matter, any Republican, ever done for blacks?” and answer for themselves, nothing, they are disingenuous if not outright dishonest. It is a historical fact that white Republicans liberated blacks from the bondage of slavery and saw to it that they had the right to vote, own property and could become citizens. Many of these white Republican leaders were hunted down and lynched (a thousand of them) right along with blacks. And it was Republicans who fought for and saw to it that civil rights bills designed to protect freed blacks were passed starting in 1866. It was the Democratic Party that fought to defeat these bills at every turn.

This brings us to the dilemma America faces today because of the prism blacks have elected to see America through, ignoring facts.

Black leaders today are far too quick to interpret any wrongdoing against members of the black community as an assault on the black community, whether it is white on black crime or law enforcement gone wrong. In their eyes, the problem is prevalent, systemic and racially motivated, regardless of evidence to the contrary. Their cries for social justice are usually badly aligned with the facts.

Valarie Richardson of the Washington Times recently wrote a poignant piece on this very subject — belief in the black community that blacks suffer at the hands of law enforcement more than any other race. The facts show a different story, a story one would think Nobel Prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison would know, or would have researched, before declaring that she wants to see an officer shoot an unarmed white teenager in the back before agreeing that the “conversation about race” is over.

She added, “And I want to see a white man convicted for raping a black woman. Then when you ask me, ‘Is it over?’ I will say yes.”

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Statistics show that more whites die at the hand of law enforcement than any other race. And though the media tend to focus on white on black crimes, more blacks are raped, assaulted, burglarized, stabbed and murdered by other blacks. Black-on-black crime is far more common than white-on-black crime.

Some call the assertion of more white fatalities at the hands of law enforcement a “half-truth” because whites make up 63 percent of the population, while blacks make up just 12 percent. The fact throws that statistic back in the faces of those who trot it out is that black-on-black crime and black-on-white crime dwarfs white-on-black crime. If this country is really going to have an honest “conversation about race,” the black community will have to come to the table of reconciliation with more honesty. Only then will America move beyond the issue of skin color.

There is one thing our sons and daughters in uniform know: In our war against Islamic terrorists, we all bleed red, white and blue. The enemy sees it that way and we need to see it that way if we are going to survive as a country.

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