“It is more dangerous to be black in America. You’re substantially more likely to be in a situation where police don’t respect you.”
The speaker was not Barack Obama; it was former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Even a conservative firebrand like Gingrich was shaken by videos showing black men killed by police in Baton Rouge and suburban St. Paul.
Then the lone assassin in Dallas shot and killed five police officers and wounded seven more. Grief, fear and anger spread.
The challenge now — for every concerned American — is how we react to the injustice and the violence. We know that our justice system suffers from massive and systematic racism. It is more dangerous to drive while black. African Americans are more likely to be stopped, more likely to be searched, more likely to be arrested if stopped, more likely to be charged if arrested, and more likely to be jailed if convicted. The budget of many small towns is based upon the fines, penalties and fees largely paid for by African-American offenders. Police, state’s attorneys and judges tend to have a shared perspective, an organizational kinship. Read more at Sun Times.