Answering racial conflict with love and truth
I thought I would share my perspective as a conservative Christian father who recently adopted a black teenage son during this time of media and activist inspired racial conflict.
No doubt, some number of Americans refused to vote for President Obama on the basis of his race. But whatever the number, it is dwarfed by the number of Americans who voted FOR him on the basis of his race. At no point in our history and in few places on earth is racism less of a problem.
Yet 80% of young blacks and more than 50% of young whites say that racism is a "major problem." How can that be? Quite simply, because they've been taught that. We now know (shouldn't we have examined the evidence first?) that police don't shoot black suspects resisting arrest any more than they do whites, according to the research of Dr. Roland Fryer, a Harvard professor who had the courage to bring some veritas into this national discussion. Better, as a black man, he'll even get to keep his job.
But why would the news media deliberately perpetrate a hoax on America that has led to the execution murders of multiple police officers and many more innocent black citizens killed in the ensuing lawlessness created by a neutered police force? In a word, politics.
After nearly two terms with our first black president, the fact that the conditions in our inner cities have not improved is so starkly obvious that only a smokescreen of burning racial conflict could obscure it. And obscure it they must since what is ailing black America is not white racism but progressive policies. Well intentioned (aren't our intentions always?) but ill conceived welfare programs have largely removed the black father from the home and replaced him with Uncle Sam -- a mindless, heartless buffoon of a relative who can provide neither protection nor love, but can create a lifelong problem for his children when it comes to authority figures.
From that environment, most black children are confined to a school system where they will find neither effective discipline nor public accountability. A system that could be readily reformed by funding students rather than bureaucracies, if not for the teachers’ unions and the Democrat politicians beholden to them.
The Big Lie that led to the scapegoating of policemen (low paid, under-appreciated heroes who would willingly risk their lives should any BLM activist dial just 3 numbers on his smart phone) and their subsequent murders was employed merely to distract us from making an accurate diagnosis based on the evidence that progressivism does not want examined. Dead cops were just an unintended, if predictable, side effect. That's my diagnosis. But I will defer to another Doctor for the remedy.
"Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that. Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that," Dr. King famously implored and I believe his prescription of love and light continues to ring true, as I witnessed in my conversation with my sons this week -- the white son I have known for all his 12 years and our 17 year old black son who just recently joined our family. Like all parents of black sons, we had "the police talk." Not because (armed as I am with knowledge) I feared for his safety from our local police, but because I did not know what lies about them he may have already absorbed that could endanger him. It went something like this:
Me: "Boys, (the girls were in the car too) you should know that 95% of all civilians shot by police are male…."
Them: "That's awful! Everyone knows girls are just as likely to commit violent crimes and resist arrest. Why do they hate us so much and what can be done to end police sexism?"
. . . actually no. Despite never having accessed the FBI statistics on police shootings, they seemed to not be at all surprised to hear this. So I continued.
Me: "The police have a really hard job, often dealing with people at their worst. They never know who is strung out on drugs or might try to shoot them to avoid arrest. Sometimes they make mistakes, like the medical professionals that kill by some estimates 100,000 people each year. Despite what you might have heard, they shoot people rarely (less than 400 most years), reluctantly and based on the suspects’ threatening behavior, not their race. Studies have confirmed this. They would risk their lives for you if you needed them to, so treat them with respect and do exactly what they ask you to do. Does that make sense?"
Them: "Yes, it sure does"
Light. Cleansing their minds of the creeping darkness of fear and paranoia. My black son received this truth as readily as my white son did, despite having some reason (as do, we must remember, many of the black activists) to have a psychological issue with authority figures and the police officers that hold that place in his psyche. But I believe he was able to see the light.
Matt Poling MD is a family physician and adoptive father.