Racist Careers?

I’m not sure what to do with Thabiti Anyabwile’s issues with the police.  The idea that police as a category have been an instrument of racist oppression makes perfect sense to me, but it confuses me that the way to address that is to permanently categorize the police as a tool of racist oppression.

His mom told him he must not, under any circumstances, become a cop, because the system would have him unjustly shooting other black men.  That almost makes sense, except that I’m pretty sure under similar circumstances, my mother would have told me by all means to become a policeman, so that I could reduce the number of my fellow Irishmen being unjustly shot.

I was raised on the philosophy that you should combat racism by feeling sorry for racists and helping them learn better.  My mom made me read Ben Carson’s book Think Big at an early age.

Can anybody corroborate Mr. Anyabwile’s story, or help explain it? Can a black man be a policeman without perpetuating racist systems?

2 thoughts on “Racist Careers?”

  1. Dr. Ben Carson was on O’Reilly last night and did an excellent job of explaining that the problems we’re seeing in situations like Ferguson are not about a racial issue, but a social issue. Any person of any race could be brought up in a similar environment with the wrong influences and the wrong emphasis on what’s important in life, and end up in trouble. These issues MUST be talked about or the problems will never be solved. Dr. Carson has common sense solutions for our nation’s many problems. If you’d like to see Dr. Carson on the presidential ballot in 2016, please sign the petition here: http://bit.ly/V0MUUJ We are trying to reach one million signatures by the end of the year!

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  2. Because of my job, I don’t feel at liberty to promote people for presidential ballots, though I have been fond of Ben Carson for years.

    I disagree a little on this point, though. Of course it is a social problem, and I think it helps to ease racial tensions to hear a black man say that. But it’s also a racial problem, whether or not police are targeting black men, because black men feel like they are targeted.

    Think about it this way: It doesn’t matter if Robin Williams is the most popular comedic actor of all time. If he feels isolated and isolated and ignored, then there is a real problem and the people who love him need to step in and help. Knowing that Williams is indeed the most popular comedic actor of all time should help his friends to decide to look for some other solution than getting mad at the public for shunning him, since the public isn’t shunning him. But the sense of loneliness is real and shouldn’t be ignored.

    In the same way, it doesn’t matter if police are actually oppressing young black men. Young black men have a very real sense that they are being oppressed and targeted. We should acknowledge that sense and do something about it. In particular, the police should be aware of it, and use particular sensitivity when addressing criminal activity by young black men.

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