Minneapolis is on fire!
Many blacks believe themselves to be unfairly targeted by law enforcement officers and subject to excessive sentences by the courts; and years of real and perceived oppression have given many blacks an extremely negative view of the entire legal establishment, especially the police.
Most police officers attempt to enforce the law honestly and competently under very difficult circumstances, but among any representative group of police officers there are some who harbor racist attitudes. And there remain too many instances when truly evil and sadistic individuals are ensconced in a law enforcement organization, sometimes even as a police chief or sheriff. It takes only one or two firebrands or evildoers on either side to start a conflagration when the firewood of racial animosity has already been stacked high. When racial conflicts do occur, the police may be guilty of provocative action, or they may be innocent. Either way, they and their communities are forced to pay the price for decades of actual and perceived racial oppression.
In March 1992 Rodney King was stopped by police after a high-speed chase in and around Los Angeles. King was on parole from a robbery conviction and was afraid of being convicted for DUI and parole violations. After the stop there was a confrontation, and the police were videotaped using what appeared to be grossly excessive force in subduing King. The beating of Rodney King by Los Angeles police officers and the subsequent failure of a suburban jury to convict those responsible led to one of the worst riots in United States history. The beating of King was truly reprehensible, but the riots were racial mayhem leading to murder and destruction on a grand scale. In 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri, the pattern was repeated. In this case the white police officer who shot Michael Brown was apparently justified in his actions, but the black citizens of Ferguson refused to believe police and witness accounts, and riots erupted. For some civil rights activists, “the Cause” was more important than “the Truth.” In their view, four hundred years of racial oppression must be assuaged or even recompensed, and the slightest hint of over aggressive action by police officers is a valid reason to riot. This general situation repeats itself in many other places throughout America, and police officers and citizens are therefore sitting on a racial powder keg. Baltimore discovered this fact in 2015. Now, in 2020 Minneapolis, we see these tensions explode again.
What is the answer? I wish I knew. Slavery was abolished in the 1860s. Jim Crow faded away in the 1960s. Perhaps the 2060s will bring the decade of reconciliation. I wish it would be sooner, but how does one change the human heart?
Let us love one another!!!