Editorial: In America, we have a black and white problem

We don’t have a blue problem. We don’t have a black problem. We have a black and white problem. It all boils down to the fact – the fact – that too many white Americans don’t like black Americans and too many black Americans don’t like white Americans. To think that’s not the overriding, overarching reason for the tension and the killing is not being willing to be realistic and honest. A speaker at a prayer vigil in downtown Clinton last week said problems are exacerbated because we have lost the “love your neighbor syndrome.” Remember, Jesus said to “love your neighbor as yourself” is the second greatest commandment. Black Lives Matter. Blue Lives Matter. All Lives Matter. Rhetoric. Another speaker last week said she didn’t need a movement to prove her life matters. Her God created her in His image, so she knows her life matters, she said. Two black men were killed – one in Minnesota and the other in Louisiana – by police officers, sparking protests across the country, including one in Dallas during which five officers were killed. When the gunfire began, the police officers moved to protect the protesters, who were protesting police violence. That’s what law enforcement officers do. They run toward the scene of trouble while the rest of us run for cover. The governor of Minnesota said if the man who was killed in his state had been white, he wouldn’t have been shot fatally by the police. The five police officers in Dallas are dead because of two reasons – they were police officers and they weren’t black. Four of them were white, one was Hispanic. The man who killed them was black. On Sunday, three police officers were gunned down by a black activist in Baton Rouge. We have a black and white problem and moments of silence or protesters blocking an interstate highway aren’t going to fix it. A Laurens police captain investigated because fellow officers say he used a racial slur and then drove while highly intoxicated on vacation at the beach. The investigation determined he hadn’t done the things the three officers said he did, but he was suspended three days without pay for fraternizing with subordinates. U.S. Senator Tim Scott, the only black Republican in the senate, said he was stopped by police seven times in one year. “I have felt the anger, the frustration, the sadness and the humiliation that comes with feeling like you’re being targeted for nothing more than just being yourself,” he said in a speech on the senate floor. He urged his colleagues to realize “just because you do not feel the pain, the anguish of another, does not mean it does not exist.” In the wake of all this, a South Carolina state senator has decided the media are the cause of all our racial problems. She said the media – particularly the national media – are race baiters who serve only to stir up passions to the point of violence. Her small-minded solution is to do away with the media. Therefore, if we don’t know police officers are killing black men or we don’t know that a black man is killing white police officers, we will be blissful in our ignorance. When the media reacted to her ideas with predictable outrage, she was condescending in her response. One has to wonder if the state senator has taken lessons from our own Rep. Mike Pitts in ways get your name and face in every media outlet in the state and many across the nation. Speaking of Pitts, as Editor Vic MacDonald reports this week, in a Facebook post, Pitts said of President Obama: “Obama attacked law enforcement from the beginning of his administration…Obama, you are a racist…Your legacy could very well be civil war if you continue.” That an elected official would say such things is sad and infuriating, but we expect nothing less (or more) from Pitts, who certainly knows how to stir up the bigots. Predictably, the responses on Pitt’s Facebook page are supportive and frightening. Our “favorite” comment is this one: “I also wonder if anyone else has noticed the hand gestures of Clinton and those of Hitler. Take a look.” Reading that, a certain hand gesture does come to mind.

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