Americans must stop making every conflict about race
You may have seen on the news that last week in Chicago, four black young adults kidnapped and then tortured a white special needs young man while streaming the abuse on Facebook Live.
You may have also noticed that the white supremacist, Dylann Roof, who shot nine black people in their church in Charleston, South Carolina in 2015, received the death sentence this week.
I read the “manifesto,” as it has been called, written by Roof shortly before he carried out the shooting. I was completely sickened by it, but I read it. At one point, he discussed how he wanted to spark a race war because he wants segregation in America.
If you hop on Facebook and read the comments on any of the hundreds of news stories about the Facebook Live torture in Chicago, you’ll find exactly what Roof and others like him would love to see — whites and blacks in a keyboard war with each other. It’s like watching small children try to get the last word in an argument.
I was at first appalled by what I read, but I think that these thousands of hate-filled comments — coming from both races — are very telling of black-white race relations right now. What concerns me is that most of what is being said is completely unreasonable. It’s unreasonable because it’s based on speculation rather than facts and generalizations rather than an understanding of separate situations.
Although it isn’t fair that one person receives a lesser punishment than another for the same crime, you can’t compare two crimes committed in different places, under different laws, and claim that the punishments for those crimes are different due to racism. It isn’t a valid argument when the judges, specific details of the crimes and minimum sentences in the respective states where the crimes were committed aren’t the same.
You also can’t determine the characteristics of an entire race of people based on the actions of a few.
Finally, you can’t battle racism with more racism, and you can’t deny the fact that racism exists toward all races.
Racism does exist. It’s evident in the crimes that I’ve just mentioned, and it’s been a major issue between blacks and whites in America for far too long. But here is what’s important to remember about racism: Not everyone is racist, and we don’t all have to feed the hate. As infuriating as it is to hear about such evil crimes and then to read or hear what some have to say about them, wonderful people exist whose skin colors are much different from our own.
There are going to be people from all races who are violent, intolerant, hateful and rude. Mainstream media is going to frustrate us with what it chooses to cover (or not cover). Judges and juries are going to make decisions on the fates of criminals of different races that upset us. These are all serious issues, but let’s not let them make us cold and bitter toward another race.
I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with peacefully expressing your concerns for your race, but I’m speaking to people both black and white when I say this: Don’t give evil people like Dylan Roof what they want — don’t fuel their fire with more hatred.
Those who pick apart the details of every conflict to make it about race, in order to attack the other race, are only contributing to the problem.
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