Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Police And Prejudice - Part 1

I recall as a young child being at school mixing with people of the same ethnicity. Sometimes if they got annoyed over something, I was told that I wasn't welcome in this country and to go home where I came from. I was informed that immigrants took jobs off locals. We are talking small children here.

I mentioned it to my mum because it happened quite often. She said that they had learned it from their parents as they wouldn't know about the job market. Unemployment was very low at the time anyway I found out later. In other words, it was really dislike of immigrants with differences such as accents. They learned this prejudice at home listening to their parents.

There are prejudiced people in every society and ethnic group. Some seem to feel certain races are more prejudiced than others but there is no genetic predisposition to prejudice that I know of. It is a learned thing, and humans seem to be easily influenced by it once taught to feel that way. Some countries have a culture of prejudice more than others.

In America if a black person is shot by a white officer, it IS racism. Recently in Ferguson, Missouri this is what happened. Eyewitnesses saw Michael Brown running away and being repeatedly shot in the back. Apparently he had stolen cigars and then walked down the road blocking traffic. This drew the policeman's attention to him. At some point a struggle ensued as the youth tried to wrestle the gun off the officer. The policeman sustained a broken eye socket and all the bullets he discharged went in to the front of the assailant, not his back as these eyewitnesses claimed.

Michael was 190cm and more than 130 kilograms, so the officer had a problem as the actions of Michael would indicate substance use as well. It seems he was a policeman doing his job and was put in an impossible position. I am not endorsing the use of firearms. Armed police are a sign of a violent society.

A poll taken showed 43% of black Americans would not say the killing was unjustified. The unrest and looting without any true facts of the case was disgraceful and opportunistic. Innocent shop keepers bearing the brunt of it all. Overwhelmingly black Americans are honest, hardworking people. A minority use such events to air grievances about their dissatisfaction with life. I feel sorry for the officer and his family. Of course the family of the victim too. However, the negative assumptions going around against police and white ones especially shows deep seated prejudice. I wouldn't want to live in America, the land with a culture of prejudice.

Nice to see some tried to stop the mindless and disgraceful looting

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