Racism in America

Christian Scientists must live under the constant pressure of the apostolic command to come out from the material world and be separate. They must renounce aggression, oppression and the pride of power. Christianity, with the crown of Love upon her brow, must be their queen of life. – Mary Baker Eddy

I just watched yet another video of an innocent African-American man being questioned by police because he “resembled” someone else – a someone else wanted for committing a crime. And I’m wondering – how many times now has this happened in the last few months?

There was the incident in Hollywood not long ago: “A Los Angeles film and television producer said he was on the ‘brink of tears’ during a six-hour ordeal locked in a Beverly Hills jail cell in a case of mistaken identity. Charles Belk was held after police said he matched the description of a man — tall, bald, and black — who was an accomplice to the ‘Purse Packing Bandit’ bank robber who had just struck on Wilshire Boulevard.” http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/LA-Producer-Describes-Ordeal-of-Mistaken-ID-Arrest-in-Beverly-Hills-272830101.html

And there was the incident just this last week: “On Wednesday, at 7:07 p.m., Andre Stockett, 34, of Huron, was a passenger in a car that was stopped by Sandusky police at Remington Avenue and Cleveland Road.The driver was Kathryn Said, 30, of Taylor, Mich., with the couple’s two-week-old infant tucked in the backseat… According to Denny’s police report, he’d watched Said pick up Stockett outside an apartment building and suspected he was Jeremy Newell, a man wanted on felony warrants.”  http://www.sanduskyregister.com/news/law-enforcement/6222396

Sooo… like, do all African-American men look alike to some people? And is just being tall, black, and bald enough to hold a man for six hours in a jail cell? The unfairness and injustice of it is making me really angry. Also, a little nervous. I mean, if today a man can be held in a jail cell for six hours just because he happens to be tall, black, and bald, what’s to stop police officers from locking me up in a jail cell for six hours for being stubby, white, and sporting a “paige boy” ‘do should another stubby, white, paige-boyed woman be running loose committing criminal shenanigans? Surely police officers should need more than height, skin color, and hair-dos to arrest someone. I mean, right?…Right?!

It has got to stop. The racism – because you and I both know that’s what’s really happening here – has got to stop.

We need to stand up for each other. In the words of Martin Niemoller, speaking of the Nazi regime in Europe:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.


One thought on “Racism in America

  1. I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.
    Elie Wiesel

    Good for you for speaking out, Karen. And isn’t it interesting that it is “racism” only when it’s white versus black? Not the other way around.

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