Protests are part of our nation’s fabric. Peaceful protests are fine. But, protests that involve looting, harm to individuals or destruction to property are criminal activities. Preventing such things from happening is a proper role of government. Protests that shut down highways should be shut down. Some of my feelings regarding these matters are included in the attached letter to the editor: Ltr to editor of AJC June 9 2020 More thoughts follow.
What happened to George Floyd should not have happened. This is a police brutality matter. Local governments need to do what is necessary to make their police forces do the right things. Some need to reform. The attached article by Louis M. Dekmar, chief of the LaGrange Police Department, supplies useful guidance: AJC article LaGrange police chief June 2 2020 (PDF). Following the recommendations of the following article would also help: WSJ-article-bad-apple-cops-June-4-2020 (PDF).
The following article by Jason Riley (who is black) notes the negative impacts of certain protests, while citing two studies from professors from non-conservative universities (Harvard, U. of Maryland, Michigan State and Cal Berkley) that found no evidence of anti-Black or anti-Hispanic disparity in police deadly use of force across all shootings. Good Policing Saves Black Lives WSJ article J Riley June 2 2020 (PDF). The UM and MSU paper is here: UM and MSU article on police use of deadly force 2019 (PDF). The Harvard paper is here: Freyer Harvard article and issue of police bias 2017 (PDF). I believe much of the anger that results in looting, etc. is rooted in economic dissatisfaction. (You don’t see pro athletes or entertainers looting—they have something significant to lose.) Single parenthood is a very large contributor to that problem. At the end of the entitlements section of this website, the need to reform entitlements and the tax system in a manner that discourages single parenthood is discussed. Still, based on the attached Freyer article, something needs to be done. Fryer WSJ article June 23 2020
There is now (in June 2020) a conversation about legislative proposals to make matters better. At the federal level, they include the Justice in Policing Act of 2020. As this matter is a local problem, I think federal restraint is needed. Proposals that I like (and would support) from the Justice in Policing Act or otherwise are eliminating federal grants (that now exist) to local governments that: (1) fail to follow best policing practices such as those noted in the LaGrange police department article above (this idea was listed in an article in The Wall Street Journal on June 8th by U.S. Congressman Will Hurd of Texas); and/or (2) fail to use body cameras and dash board cameras.
What happened to Ahmaud Arbery should not have happened. This is a local system failure matter. Many small towns are often run by a small group of people. Often, the group is largely or entirely made up of white people. They have a hefty obligation to ALWAYS do the right thing. Failures occur. Most who work for the justice system have the ability to overcome prejudice, etc. In the Arbery matter, based on information produced in the media as of early June of 2020, it appears the people in charge of investigating had a conflict because the McMichael father (Greg) had worked for the district attorney, and the people in charge of investigating did not recuse themselves from the matter. Whether what was done was racially motivated is currently not known. Racism exists. And, it won’t be eliminated by any law change.
In addition to Andrew Young’s belief in a “contagion of white supremacy” (noted in my letter to the editor above) the following two documents lead me to believe that a very significant percent of the black population (perhaps a majority) view the majority of whites as evil racists: Pitts article and Elliott Letter to Editor AJC June 7 2020 (PDF). In the middle of his article, Mr. Pitts says: “There is no major institution in this country–medical, cultural, commercial, religious, journalistic, law enforcement or otherwise–that is not corroded to its bones by racism.” I don’t see things this way.
I understand and appreciate the history of slavery and awful treatment of blacks by some whites. I know and have known a lot of blacks and whites (more whites). I’m certain that the vast majority of whites are not racists. (My ancestors came to the U.S. after the Civil War.)
Having had my car stolen after midnight in the inner city while in college, and having found out afterward the thieves were carrying a loaded sawed-off shotgun (and my friend and I having missed them by ten minutes), I believe the police need to be given the benefit of the doubt in firefights, etc.
Race relations are bad, and they won’t be made better overnight. What can be done to make things better? First, it should be recognized that this matter is a state and local government matter. Second, the GBI should be contacted whenever something fishy is suspected, as eventually happened in the Arbery matter. (I think it seeks justice.) Third, with respect to local police departments, the recommendations outlined in the above two articles (i.e. the AJC June 2, 2020 article and the WSJ June 4, 2020 article) could be followed by local police departments. Fourth, a list of requirements designed to overcome what happened in both the Floyd and Arbery matters could be made into a charter, etc., and the voters could demand of those running for local public office to state whether they’ll support the charter and, if not, why not? Perhaps someone running will agree with all but one point. They could be given the chance to set forth their reasoning for disagreement with the one point. (Perhaps two separate charters should exist: One for people running for mayor or sheriff (or chief of police—if elected) and one for people running to work in the district attorney’s office or as part of the court system.) Fifth, the law changes I noted above from the Justice in Policing Act of 2020, etc. could be adopted. Sixth, the federal entitlements and tax system can be changed to discourage single parenthood.
If elected, I’ll do what I can to achieve the fifth and sixth things listed in the preceding paragraph.