Michael Reagan, these demands for police reform are not being driven by just the lynching of George Floyd and the murder of Rayshard Brooks. They are driven by Travyon Martin, Breonna Taylor, Botham Jean, Philando Castille, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and every other Black person who has been killed in this country.
You claim that because there have been few instances of police shooting Blacks in Los Angeles, systemic racism in the police must not be real, but the statistics in your opinion piece represent only a part of policing statistics in California, let alone the entire United States.
To cite some of the statistics from your last piece, of the 33 officer-involved shootings that resulted in death in 2018, 2 were Black, but “a majority” were Latino. In 2019, the number of officer-involved shootings that resulted in death was 12, but while 2 were Black, 8 were Latino. You claim systemic racism does not exist in the police, yet you yourself presented statistics which show people of color made up nearly all officer-involved shooting deaths in those years.
Addressing your comments about two-parent households, the stereotype of absent Black fathers dates back to slavery, when young, enslaved, African men were torn from their families to be sold. This created a self-perpetuating cycle of young men who grew up with no father figure, and subsequently no template for how to be a parent.
You also claim it is the Black communities’ responsibility to seek out better education, yet Kelley Williams-Bolar was sentenced to nine days in jail and 3 years of probation for using her father’s address so her daughters could enroll in a better school. As a country we must ask ourselves what purpose our education system fulfills, if, as you say, it is so incapable of educating the youth that parents must shoulder that responsibility.
Lastly, to answer your question, “Where have the Black leaders gone?” check the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center, Medgar Evers’ grave or perhaps wherever they buried George Floyd.
CAROLYN RUDE, Cheyenne
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