Letter: Racist Ignorance
In Buz Williams’ column on Aug. 12, “Systemic Ignorance & Criminal Retraining,” his remarks wander from recent political conventions, to Benghazi, to food stamps, to the number of African Americans incarcerated, and finally to his real point, that the police are just fine and we need to retrain the public so they don’t get shot.
First, his idea of systemic ignorance–that Democrats are ignorant because they believe that black lives matter and they honored the mothers of young blacks who have been shot by police—is, in fact, the height of ignorance. Buz says there is no uptick in police shootings of black men. If that is true, there are still way too many police shootings. We need to change the culture of the police rather than retrain the victims of police brutality.
Second, Buz says that families of color are at fault for their having to be on welfare and food stamps. Has Buz heard of income inequality that has expanded over the past 25 years? Does Buz remember the great recession that forced families out of homes, created the greatest unemployment since 1933, and added millions of folks to the food stamp program? Has Buz heard of racism that has stolen opportunity from many, or school choice that has created a two-tier education system that disadvantages the poor? It’s our economic system that is to blame.
Finally, the idea that all police training is just fine doesn’t hold to the facts we see nearly every week … people being shot while on their stomachs, or shot while sitting in a car, or shot while running away. It is easy for a white guy to say, ”just follow the rules,” but if you are a person of color, it is an entirely different story.