(18g) Difference in treatment of white and black people

For many people, a surprise decision by an American court: white people involved in an armed standoff that ended with fire exchange with police officers were not convicted and are allowed to walk free while the police accepts the verdict. And thus it is no surprise that black people are angry.

A white family won a court case

The situation: Years ago the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) decided that cow owners should pay if they want that their animals graze on federal public lands while later grazing became forbidden on some land in order to protect an endangered desert tortoise. Indeed, in a world where animals are disappearing at high speed, sometimes humans have to accept some animals need protection. The problem is that the white family doesn't accept these conditions and let their cows graze on public lands. The worse is they defend this right with weapons and during another dispute including an armed standoff with police that lasted many days, one family member was killed by police while others were arrested. And now, months later, the family is not guilty and can go home while the federal officials accept this verdict although some members still need to be judge for other offences.

I can't comment on the details of this conflict as I don't know enough of it. Still, it seems the people within this family do not accept the authority of their own federal government as they claim it is an issue for the local State government although they use proudly the USA and thus federal flag. And thus I think the local government could have confirmed the federal law should be followed. Further, they protest not by defending their case in courts or via politics but by the use of weapons and occupation of government buildings while BLM officers backed off in order not to provoke and thus they tried to prevent violent that eventually still erupted. But it is a fact, everywhere in the world people are starting to think higher hierarchies are intervening a little too much at local levels without taking into account local concerns. Also Mr Trump talks about too much federal government and reducing Washington's influence. Still, imagine people can occupy buildings, use weapons while law enforcement officers have to retreat and courts side with the aggressors; it indicates that the use of weapons is allowed to solve disagreements with governments and in the end with individuals.

But now, and in agreement with the main title, compare this with the relation between police officers and courts versus black people:
  • Unarmed Mr Eric Garner sold cigarettes on the street of N.Y. and for this reason police officers constrained him using an illegal method that resulted in his death. The man didn't use violence against the police nor did he carry a weapon. Video footage shows what happened. Court decision: white police officer not guilty. Black Lives Matter protests afterwards while police officers were angry because the mayor made comments the police considered as criticism.

  • Twelve year old black boy Tamir Rice played with what seems to be a gun although the person calling the police mentioned it may be a toy gun. An adult white police officer arrived and didn't seem to know how to handle the situation professionally so he killed within seconds after his arrival the black boy. Video footage shows what happened. Court decision: white police officer not guilty. Black Lives Matter protests afterwards.

  • A passer-by filmed how Mr Walter Scott, while running away from a police officer was killed because the officer shot eight bullets in his back instead of stopping him by for instance shooting in his leg if the officers considered violence was necessary. Video footage shows what happened. Court decision: trial is about to start but already there is a warning that there is more to the story than the video shows. Still, justice needs to be trusted.

And while until now mainly black families are involved and their friends, black and white, one day a white couple may hear their black adoption child is death and thus white families become involved.

And it is true, there are people who feel uneasy and even fear in the presence of black people because to some it seems black people celebrate violence and drug use and disrespect women as can be heard and seen in many of their current music videos while people loved artists such as Michael Jackson or Whitney Houston or Earth Wind and Fire who were less aggressive in their music and videos. People fear it even influences white music videos. Other people are simply racists and hate for no reason. And in a society where people fear they may be killed by someone walking around with a gun, paranoia will grip that society and people shoot before they speak. In addition, many American films celebrate police officers who kill the evil guys before they ask questions as an effective way to remove the bad guys and thus this may become acceptable. But one would assume police officers are professional and learn how to behave in certain situations or they should not be allowed to act as police officers although they can work as civilian. If they can't handle a situation such as a child, how will they react when they have to face the real dangerous criminals? On the other hand, if too many people disobey law enforcers, it can be expected that officers become frustrated and angry.

Still, the difference with the treatment of the white family is striking. The white people were not shot for carrying weapons and occupying buildings but instead the police acted professionally as they tried to calm the people. Only after a long armed standoff when violence erupted was one occupier killed and others arrested while they are now free. These white people are now called hero's because they opposed the federal government who simply tried to enforce laws. Those opposing these laws could have used other means than violence such as going into politics to change the laws if possible. These white people won in court and are now free people while they opposed federal officials, disobeyed laws, carried guns and used violence. Police accepts the court decision, even when they may have been killed in the standoff while it gives a signal that opposing laws is acceptable. But when police officers are found not guilty after they kill unarmed black people who didn't use violence, then they are angry when this decision is questioned. And thus the peaceful Black Lives Matter movement started to demand a fairer treatment of black people by police and justice. Some people however claim the movement is ridiculous as every life matters or it is aggressive (indeed, some people become angry enough to use violence). And thus many (white) people don't seem to understand the anger amongst black people about what seems is an unfair system. I'm sure, if black officers would arrest or kill white people in a similar way as happens to black people and are not punished for this, many white people would protest violently as white people are even prepared to use weapons against police for the simple fact they have to pay to use public land. An example is the reaction from white politicians who claim President Obama is too soft against the Black Lives Matter demonstrators who cause unrest. But only after accepting that some police officers make errors and thus need better training or are racist and thus need prison sentence, police forces will be trusted by everyone and thus will be able to serve everyone.

Another example of differences in treatment

Another example in the different treatment of black versus white people is given by Mr Van Jones. In the video he describes what Mr Trump can do, a powerful white man and compares this with the situation of black people but equally with that of white women. Mr Trump can talk about women and groom them and still continue his campaign to become president of the USA. However, when a black person would admit this he would be called a thug, very likely be arrested and scandalized. Of course, there are powerful black persons who misbehave but this should not become public or they will lose their position as can be expected. The differences between black and white are still enormous. He also mentions that even white women can't speak as powerful white males can without being punished. Still, the reaction about Mr Trumps behaviour, including from many white men although not all, shows society is changing.


White people
White people over centuries mistreated others for their own benefit: they conquered the world, destroyed cultures and killed millions while enslaved many of the survivors (thereby using black traitors who captured other black people to sell them to white people while those remaining now live in the poorest continent on earth). Of course, white people were not the only people to do this but the others should speak for themselves; in addition throughout history white powerful persons also abused other white people for their own benefit. But first we need to acknowledge the evil we have done to others because the others wouldn't mind what white people did to each other as long as white people continue to mistreat others. Ones we accept we did wrong in the past, we can study the present, listen to complains from others and understand why some people are angry and then try to improve their situation. Indeed, white people have done much good and where the first to understand that slavery should be abolished; even resulting in civil war in the USA. White people also educated others, both in their own countries and other continents. Still, as long as there are white people who continue to mistreat others and certainly black people, the impression that black people are second class citizens will continue and thus much of the positive done will not be recognised. Therefore, it is important that the white community recognises that certain of their members are racists who mistreat others and that this behaviour is no longer acceptable.

And thus white people, after seeing these videos, start to realise that indeed there seems to be something wrong in the relationship between police and black people (men) and thus a number of white people joined the Black Lives Matter demonstrations to show solidarity. And this is courageous because when people are angry, they start to think one-dimensional and thus some may start to think that all white people are the same and thus that the white demonstrators are part of the enemies, certainly when some white demonstrators are in effect undercover cops who try to identify the demonstrators. On the other hand, many in the white community may consider the white demonstrators are traitors. Therefore, if only also the police and justice would accept there may be a problem with some officers, then discussions between each other could result in a better relationship. Failing to do so may only result in more anger and distrust and finally more violence.

Black people
Still, this doesn't liberate the black community from taking responsibility. Indeed, there are black gangs that sometimes force black youth to join them while others join because they are tired to do good in a society that still distrust them (e.g. President Obama experienced tough opposition from mainly white people so many black people forget that many white people voted twice for Mr Obama so he could become president). These gangs not only scare (white) police officers who then mistrust every black person, also black people die (of course, also white gangs exist). Today also an important section of the black music seems to be an extension of those gangs that worship money as the highest thing to achieve while denigrates those who are less successful. Black people should condemn those gangs while ask the artists to be positive examples. Black kids who try to study at school should be encouraged by the black communities so they feel confident to continue just as white children in the past where encouraged to study and progress. Black kids should be informed from a young age that they should improve their community, even when this means they earn less (does not equal little), as this will gain them much more respect than becoming rich in a questionable way. Indeed, black people need examples who defend hard work and make it honourable even when they are not as wealthy as other people. As long as many in the black community don't recognise this, many will continue worshipping money, in whatever way they get it. But of course it is also important that finishing studies can result in a good job with a decent salary or people may turn to criminal activities as everyone wants to escape poverty. Of course, as a white person, it is almost not possible to say this without being called a racist. But equally, this also concerns mainly white boys who grow up in poor communities with little prospect for a decent job and as a result are not very motivated to study well. And I understand that getting out of ghettos is not easy but the black community can start by going to black hairdressers and shopkeepers while wealthy black people can support certain projects that gain them support within the community instead of increasing their own wealth to emphasise their own importance. Doing it this way, black people don't have to wait for the approval of white people although many white people already employ black people. And of course, white people can't completely abandon their own kind in favour of others who often don't seem to support each other.

An example. Instead that many black people complain there are not enough black characters in films and cartoons (and very important black actors exist), why can't they do as white people: find (financial) support within the black community so they can make their own movies and cartoons and then promote them amongst like-minded people who will watch them so these movies and cartoons can become a hit and attract more people. Already, thanks to social media, black and other people are starting to make their own small movies and gather a large audience. Afterwards, big companies can discover and employ. Indeed, both education and social media liberate people, a reason why some elite start to oppose this: increased tuition fees and condemnation of social media. Of course, social media should not be used to insult people but otherwise it improves democracy as leaders can't misbehave or people will question them.

An example from the past: gay movies. Big studios, although many gays were part of them, thought gay themes won't make money and thus gay characters were ignored or portraited as stereotypes. And thus gay people started to make independent low budget underground gay movies that earned money as there was a market for this kind of films; big companies noticed gay film can make money and as a result there are now gay characters in blockbuster movies while even some straight actors play certain gay roles when they find them interesting. And thus the integration started. The side effect: many pioneering independent film companies can't compete with the big film companies and thus struggle to have an audience and disappear so big companies dictate again how gay people are portraited. And thus, people start making their own short gay movies which they can show via social media.

Black examples

There are black examples although often parts of what they do is ridiculed by other black people who prefer to listen to successful powerful white people. For instance, concerning gay rights is religion often more important than what a black person says although also here things are changing.

Mr Barack Obama is such an example for coloured people. In the past, he did community work and eventually he became president of the USA. And while he should be an example for his own people, many white people feel embarrassed with the obstruction and disrespect that certain white politicians and individuals show towards him so that someone like Mr Trump could gain sufficient support amongst white people to be the opponent of Mrs Clinton in the presidential election (this election is not an example how to behave). Still, many white people also oppose Mr Trump.

Mr Nelson Mandela is another example and this in the heart of the black continent who was able to forgive after his liberation that white people put him in jail and united the country when he became the first black president of South Africa. However, some politicians after him again drift in the direction of old politics whereby they enrich themselves at the expense of the country. However, as people are more educated, it is difficult to turn back the time as the educated as well as those who want to study also want to achieve something such as working as a doctor and thus no longer accept that politicians are corrupt but demand that politicians work for a better country where everyone profits. Also the white will have to make sacrifices such as sharing more of their wealth with black people to prevent aggression.

In conclusion

It is difficult to understand how certain white people still think non-white people should serve white people. If they were convinced that white people are superior to other people, then they should educate others to raise themselves so a lasting white legacy remains. But, although these white supremacists pretend to be concerned about other white people, in the end only their own interests are important and thus even their own people suffer if they are not controlled. Therefore, black, Asian and white people need to unite to create a better world. And this starts by questioning why certain people are angry and then finding solutions. Of course, when the reason is only racism, often people can't be helped.


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