The other day my one of my family members posted something on Facebook that said:
“509 Citizens have been killed by cops this year.
484 were male, 25 female.
238 were white, 123 were black.
420 had known weapons, the rest unknown.
More than half were mentally ill or on drugs.
Almost all had prior criminal records.
We don’t have a race problem or a cop problem.
We have a MEDIA problem, a drug problem, a mental illness problem, and an entitled welfare state breeding thugs problem.“
Unfortunately there was no source for these statistics and I have no idea if they are true, however; later I saw a picture of a TV with the CNN logo clearly visible showing very similar stats. But I’m not going to assume this is or is not true, whether it is or isn’t really isn’t the point here.
One of my family member’s “friends” on Facebook (a black woman), clearly offended by the post, commented immediately saying “I’ve been Black for 47 years. Don’t try to tell me there isn’t a race problem. I live it everyday. Glad for you that you don’t have to walk in my shoes though and continue to live in your bubble. Good luck with that.”
There are many more comments by my family members, the woman and eventually myself and it got a little nasty. Here’s the entire thread:
The family member who posted the original message, who is ABSOLUTELY NOT racist, asked me if he came off that way. And while I know him probably too well to say, unbiased, whether he came off as racist or not (I obviously think not), I do think he came off as defensive and I did have to point out that this woman has a valid point.
I know my family member was just trying to make a point that the Media has a lot to do with the current situation (which I TOTALLY agree with), especially if these statistics are correct. And we do have a drug problem, mental illness problem and an entitled welfare state breeding thugs problem (and by the way, a thug can be any color in my opinion). HOWEVER; we DO STILL HAVE A RACE PROBLEM! And I believe this is what offended the woman who saw my family member’s post.
You see, we are not racist. We were raised not to judge anyone by the color of their skin. We grew up poor and dealt with a lot of the similar things black people do because we were poor. But we were NOT black and we really have NO IDEA what it is like to be black. This woman has most definitely had to deal with things we, as “lucky” white people, can’t even imagine, because we are white. No offence intended here. She was right that that it is luck, pure luck, that we happened to be born white. At the same time, it is luck she was born black (good or bad, that depends on how you look at it). And even though we have had some shared experiences as my family member shared and I could as well, we really don’t have a clue.
My family & I are people who lean towards thinking most other people think like we do. (I guess that could be considered a bubble.) Unfortunately that’s not always the case. I’m always shocked when I see examples of racism; against blacks, Asians, Hispanics, Latinos, whatever in this day and age. I like to think that we, as a society, would be over that by now. And I really think it’s getting that way, to a point. Most of my friend’s feel the same way and I truly believe fewer and fewer people are, but it does still exist. I think we tend get defensive because we get lumped into a bucket since we happen to have been born white. This defensiveness is a result of that being so far from who we are.
Not all white people are racist. Not all blacks are criminals. Not all Muslims want to kill in the name of their religion. Not all cops are bad. Not all Asians are super smart. Not all Christians are homophobic. Not all blond women are air heads or bimbos. Not all women are dumber than men. At the same time – SOME white people ARE racist (so are some blacks/Hispanics/Asians etc…). SOME blacks ARE criminals (as are some white people/Hispanics/Asians etc…). SOME Muslims DO want to kill in the name of their religion (So do SOME so-called Christians; Westborough Baptist). SOME cops ARE bad. I think you get my point here. There are bad apples everywhere. We seriously need to stop stereotyping and lumping everyone into a bucket based on race, religion, gender, sexual preference, etc… White people are killed by cops too – whether or not it’s twice as many as blacks I don’t know, but it doesn’t make national headlines every time. Why not???? Why does a black person getting killed by a cop make headlines???? I don’t think I’ve ever heard about a Hispanic person being killed by a cop either – why not???? These are obviously rhetorical questions, but they should make you think. Why does the media jump on these types of stories? I have my theories – but I’ll keep those to myself.
Look in the mirror. Do you think everyone who looks like you is exactly like you? Of course you don’t! Then why on earth would we think that way about people who look different than us?