Here we go again. Another tragic death of a young black man at the hands of a nonblack (in this case a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo.) has set of a firestorm of opinions about the great racial divide in this country.
There is no shortage of opinions that local city governments and police are complicit in riot outbreaks, and therefore need fixing — Re: Dan Freeman’s column about how Galveston could perhaps fix some its own problems with minorities (“What Galveston could learn from Ferguson, The Daily News, Aug. 20).
There is little point in placing blame in the death of Michael Brown, at this time, since all the facts are not known and won’t be until a full investigation is completed. (Is the officer telling the truth about Brown’s attack against him, or did Brown have his hands up in a gesture of submission?)
The place where blame really should be aimed is never really discussed on a national level whenever these tragedies erupt. The sad fact is that young black males commit an alarmingly disproportionate amount of violent crimes across America.
Although these young males only make up roughly a quarter of the black population, and probably less than 3 percent of the country as a whole, this staggering amount of violence is the primary source off all tensions between blacks and police in every major city in America, which sometimes results in the death of young black men.
That is a comparatively rare occasion, compared to the tens of thousands of confrontations between these violent young blacks and police every year, where death is not the end result. It is an extremely minute occasion compared to the wholesale slaughter of black-on-black murders nationwide.
Were it not for this rather large elephant in the living room, that no one knows how to deal with and no one particularly wants to talk about — there would be precious few actual violent clashes between police and blacks in inner cities.
In fact, this huge problem is the main stumbling block in finally ending what little racism is left in this country after a half- century of trying.
Imagine it; there would be no so-called stereotyping of all young black males as potentially violent because inner city blacks would be no more violent than any other ethnic group.
Peace would erupt, instead of violence.
How to fix this massive underlying problem in race relations?
Lord knows if there is any fix. At least not one of any speed in the short term.
But, there should be efforts made by both government and black leaders, in all inner cities, to try to lift up these lost young souls.
To somehow mentor all inner city young blacks in how to be responsible fathers, and to steer them away from crime on the streets and toward education, and to teach them how to live a less violent life. It is a national problem of great importance that must be tackled head on.
And may God help us if we don’t somehow manage to begin turning it around. Because if we don’t, there will be more Fergusons. Lots more.
Bob Fields lives in Santa Fe.