The juxtaposition of three articles on pages 4A and 5A of the Aug. 11 Courier was fascinating.
On the Editorial page, an article by Buz Williams was a negative critique of Democrats, with a focus on the Black Lives Matter organization. Buz claims this organization has been “thoroughly discredited” and that police are almost always impartial when it comes to race. On the opposite page was a short AP article “Report on Baltimore cops vindicates black residents.” That report was a 15-month probe by the Justice Department, who had analyzed police records. It concluded that blacks are “routinely singled out, roughed up or otherwise mistreated by Baltimore police officers, often for no reason”
I think that few police forces act as badly as in Baltimore, but police tend to mirror whatever biases the local population has – after all, they are part of that population. Racial bias has been declining over the years, but unfortunately it still lingers in some Americans. It is hard to tell how much this often-subconscious bias has affected the gridlock in Congress, with Republicans arguing against a good deal of the agenda of our black president.
On the same page as Buz’ article was an article by Tom Cantlon on “Fact Checking.” Tom show ways to check on the facts behind various writers’ opinions and conclusions. Their words can have a big impact on how the man in the street thinks about things. Tom addresses an earlier article by Buz that makes claims that have no validity. They are vague and don’t give any references that can be checked. If Buz would take the time to dig into his claims, he would find that the opposite is often the truth.
Tom also talks about assertions by a Mr. Byrd who claims that most scientists reject the evidence that climate change is mainly caused by humans. Byrd’s claims are completely false when you follow up on his references. So, don’t believe everything you read just because it reinforces your political views.
I suggest you look at the online version of the Aug. 11 Courier and read these three articles for yourself. You may then become more of a doubting Thomas and dig deeper – reaching less biased conclusions.