White guilt won’t fix America’s race problem. Only justice and equality will

Gary Younge writes: On 26 November 2007 Brandon Moore, an unarmed 16-year-old, was shot in the back while running away from a security guard in Detroit. The guard made it look like sport. “[He] put one arm on top of the other arm and started aiming at us,” Brandon’s brother John Henry, who was with him at the time, told me.

“Brandon wasn’t involved in anything. He was the last one to take off running, I guess.” The shooter was an off-duty policeman with a history of brutality. Sacked from the force after he was involved in a fatal hit-and-run accident while drunk-driving, he was reinstated a few years later on appeal. He went on to shoot dead an armed man in a neighbourhood dispute, and shot and injured his wife in a domestic fracas.
Walter Scott shooting: police dashcam video shows him running from car
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The story got a paragraph in Detroit’s two daily newspapers. Neither even bothered to print Brandon Moore’s name. The policeman was reassigned to a traffic unit until he was cleared by an “invesigation”.

The cold-blooded killing of Walter Scott, who was shot eight times in the back as he ran away from a policeman in North Charleston, South Carolina, is not news in the conventional sense. Such shootings are neither rare nor, to those who have been paying attention, suprising. Sadly, they are all too common. It is news because, thanks to the video footage, we have incontrovertible evidence at a moment when public consciousness has been heightened and focused on this very issue. While in this case the policeman involved has been fired and charged, such a degree of proof is no guarantee of justice. There was video evidence of police choking Eric Garner to death in Staten Island while he protested “I can’t breathe”, and his killers were acquitted; there was video of evidence of Rodney King’s beating in Los Angeles, and his assailants walked free. But in an era of 24-hour news and social media, video guarantees attention.

Black people have been dying for this kind of attention for years.

Michael Brown died for it; Kajieme Powell died for it; Tamir Rice died for it; Justus Howell died for it. The roll call could go on – and until something fundamental changes, not just with American policing but in the American psyche, it will get longer. [Continue reading…]

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One thought on “White guilt won’t fix America’s race problem. Only justice and equality will

  1. DE Teodoru

    We face an era of the power of the weak. The media has made much of how easy it is to shoot what you for sooooo long feared. Beginning with that obese creature in Florida “standing his ground” to the cops shooting kids and and men running away. As our economic order returns to the mid-1870s– the era of the Robber Barons– it may be that our social order does too. We forget that a society’s duty is to protect life liberty and the pursuit of happiness, not to attain meschood by shooting unarmed people. While the rich steal the bread from our mouths, we compensate for our hunger shooting those far less fortunate than us, shouting: “JESUS PLEASE GUIDE MY BULLET!”

    Black-Americans had been slaves longer than free and all attempts at balance have been shorter than Jim Crow. It was only in the Korean War that Black Americans were allowed to fight as regular soldiers by order of President Truman. Since then they have carried the Infantry through every war. Indeed we owe these original Americans a lot more than to shoot them in the back so that we may feel like mensch. Every new generation of Blacks has been forced to suffer the fate of its parents. We never understood that we must do more to heal their historic wound rather than throw them in a cage. What does it say about a nation that throughout its history moves a mass part of its citizens from slavery to prison, despite its out of proportion sacrifice to the nation’s defense? Are we slipping back to the character of the Roman Empire in decline?


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