When I watch the news programs, particularly the 24/7 cable news networks I find myself talking to, trying to reason with the pundits and so called reporters on many of the outrageous statements made everyday in support of obviously partisan positions.
One thing in particular that bothers me is the issue that can go beyond liberal or conservative positions and touch deeper feelings in people based on race or religion.
Today’s conversation about race relations triggered by the “hands up don’t shoot” Ferguson event is particularly disturbing. While it is not often referenced this race debate is taking place during economic times that are bad for the middle class, the black community and the Hispanic population. This is a fact in spite of the administrations insistence that “the economy is looking up” and “the stock market is healthy.”
The current situation, bad economy and suspicion by the black community that the white community is “thinking” negative racist actions is a formula for race riots. We should all remember that because of a very bad economy Hitler was able to blame a religious/race the Jews for the problems of an entire nation. It may sound too simple but it is a fact that the net results were and could be the same in this country.
While the black community may only be 14% of our total population the sphere of influence is uniquely concentrated in big cities, particularly inner cities where the economy is very, very bad and prospects are even worse. Couple this economy with the feeling of a “racist” undercurrent and we have the formula for race wars or at the least major race confrontations that cannot be resolved by a federal committee or DOJ guidelines against profiling.
This situation calls for exceptional leadership at the executive branch of the federal government and even more importantly at the state and local level, balancing facts about the treatment of black and Hispanic citizens with the needs of the community for a stimulated economy shared by the black, Hispanic and white citizens.