Face it. Some people are born into better circumstances than others and some will be born with traits that enable doors to open that would otherwise remain closed. I was born with above average intelligence. Though it did not always come easy and I had to work hard to achieve good grades, it did enable me to graduate from Clemson and get a pretty good job. That’s something that simply would not have been possible if my intelligence was merely average or slightly below. I didn’t grow up in a mansion in a gated community, but my family was well-off, and money was never an issue. It certainly was a benefit to graduate without mountains of student debt. Perhaps most importantly, I was raised in a stable household with a loving mother and father. Now, there are plenty of single mothers out there that are doing a great job, but the fact is that the odds are not in your favor both for yourself and your child.
If you have a son, it is especially important for him to have a strong male role-model. Sons who grow up without a father are 8 times more likely to drop out of school and go to prison. The poverty rate is much higher as well. I have not seen any data for girls, but I am betting that in rare cases of daughters being raised by single fathers, the stats are not pretty.
These advantages transcend race. Too often, the so-called “black experience” is associated with growing up in the Hood surround by crime and broken homes. It doesn’t have to be that way, nor is that stereotype accurate. Blacks who are born into similar circumstances as I? Yes, they do exist and can reap most, if not all the benefits associated with it. A white kid from a broken home in an impoverished region of Appalachia? Not so much. Being an attractive female or a star athlete transcends both race and class and will open doors not available to others. If you have a naturally outgoing personality, you can more easily make network connections in the job market. Still, with all of that said, no matter what hand you’ve been dealt in life, you can always make choices to better your situation and improve your odds of being successful.
I strongly dislike the term “white privilege,” which was almost never used before Obama, but that’s another issue. To me, it implies that my skin tone is a golden ticket to a comfortable life free from hardship as well as a guarantee that I will never face prejudice, harassment or bullying. THAT AIN’T TRUE! Anyone who reads my blog knows that I suffer from an invisible illness that appears to be getting worse all the time. Unless you live with me or hung out with me on a regular basis, there is just no way to understand what I go through every day with the various treatments. Northern friends have admitted to me that if we met on the street, I would be pre-judged as dumb because I have a strong southern accent. It’s not an issue here in Alabama but if I wanted to live in the Northeast or West coast, I believe I would face job discrimination.
How is my relationship with law enforcement? I would not say that it is good. It’s pretty much non-existent. I’ve only had 2 encounters within the last 8 years. One was due to a parking lot car accident in which I was deemed to be at fault but did not get a ticket. The other involved a naked man who was walking around my old apartment complex at night. I thought that he was probably on drugs, but it turned out that he was suffering from dementia and was taken home. No doubt that I did the right thing by calling. Farther back in the past, I had one positive encounter and one negative. I was saved from a probable mugger in New Orleans when I was in my early 20s. The cop approached my newfound companion and said “Hey! How you doin? Didn’t know you were giving tours.” At first, I thought it might be racial profiling, but it turned out that the man was well known for theft and robberies. I was warned to be more careful because I was in one of the most violent cities in the country. Good advice. The only negative was being pulled over for going 70 in a 55 mph zone. I was yelled at bigly and told that I could kill somebody by driving like that even though there was little traffic and I honestly thought the speed limit was 65. In the end, he handed me back my license but not my car registration. He was just a jerk and probably treats everybody the same way.
I have no problem with the slogan Black Lives Matter but when it comes to the organization itself, I do have some issues. They constantly push a TOTALLY false narrative that there is a massive nationwide epidemic of police shootings that only affect unarmed black people. Several banners that I’ve seen in the news have compared the police to the KKK. That is ridiculous. I will cede one point that a black man is more likely to be pulled over if seen driving through an upscale white neighborhood such as Mountain Brook. That is flat out wrong, and no further comments are needed.
A friend of mine recently posted that sometimes she is afraid for her son to go out because of the police. While there is never an absolute guarantee for his safety, police are not the ones to be feared if you look at the statistics. 27% of people killed by police are black, which is roughly 2 times their share of the population. Now, consider that blacks have more interactions with police due to the crime rate. If you look at the number of deaths per police interaction, I’ll bet it is slightly higher but not significantly and certainly not as bad as the media would lead you to believe. An unarmed black man is more likely to be struck by lightning than killed by a police officer. Again, racist acts do happen. I will not deny it or downplay any individual case, but it is NOT the norm. Hell, even fellow police officers will not defend this and in many cases sided with peaceful protesters. I can think of at least 5 issues that are more pressing needs than police brutality.
I have ZERO sympathy for violent protesters especially after the officer was charged with murder and public opinion is overwhelmingly against him and his accessories on the scene. Looting is not on the same level as murder and try to understand their anger? No excuse. True, looting is not on par with what the officer did but burning down a building that houses a child is. 11 people have been killed in the protests and 7 were black. Most don’t even know their names. Sickening. At this point, it is no longer about George Floyd. We are dealing with radical Anarchists and Communists who are looking for any excuse to start a revolution and overthrow the whole system.
It’s gotten to the point in which it is considered offensive to say ALL LIVES MATTER and a sportscaster was fired for posting those 3 words. This does NOT mean that I am indifferent towards the black community. In my view, mistreating others for ANY REASON must be condemned with no exceptions. I am passionate about the school bullying issue and the epidemic of teen suicides, which affect all races. I was once told that my very existence was offensive and the only way for the bullying to stop was for me to die and go to Hell. NOBODY deserves to be subjected to that level of hatred. I don’t care about the motivation for making such a statement. I won't get as much sympathy if I shared that story because it was not racially motivated. Yes, personalities can clash and not everybody will like each other but respect and civility must be practiced at all times.