Mary E. Louisiana

Racial Strife

We as citizens need to acknowledge racial prejudices between all races and a need for law enforcement. Those who commit crimes need to be held responsible for their actions, regardless of their skin color, religion, gender, or occupation. We also need to respect our law enforcement's decisions and trust that they are doing what is best for the community.

Recent tragic encounters between police officers and members of the black community have sparked questions about police brutality towards racial groups. I believe that as citizens of the United States, we should regard the difficulty and risk of being a police officer. In the United States, terms and phrases related to racial issues are difficult to correctly and appropriately address. There are many factors that contribute to the prejudices held against one race by another race. This is one of the most unfortunate experiences of life in America; as a Christian, I believe that every human being is created equal. Some of the contributing factors for prejudice and racial tension go back for generations within family, friends, and even religious groups. Life experiences, along with our surroundings, shape us and the opinions that we form. It's easy to look at statistics and form opinions; however, these statistics can lead to a greater prejudice and colder view of our world. Today we see that the black race makes up only 13.3% of our country's population, according to Based on numbers alone, it makes sense that the black race has a reason to feel isolated. Adding to that feeling of isolation are the statistics related to crime in the black communities across our country.

The slightest suggestion of police brutality against a certain group or race is alarming. However, we must all carefully weigh our words and our actions. There are groups that seek to point the finger at the law enforcement community, such as the Black Lives Matter movement, which is creating tension between races and law enforcement. I do believe that the Black Lives Matter movement was created with good intentions, but has grown into a national racial issue, pitting people against one another based on their race.

While I'm not trying to find fault with any race, I think it is important to thoughtfully weigh statistics because of the research that has gone into them and the responsibility of the publisher to make sure that the public receives valid information. In July of 2015, Jared Taylor published an article in American Renaissance Magazine stating that African Americans have been the attackers in 84.9% of crimes involving blacks and whites. A spokesperson for the FBI reported on in 2012, that many African Americans are born into environments where extreme poverty exists and crimes occur; the majority of crimes occur in heavily populated areas such as Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles. Growing up in these conditions influences many decisions. I can't understand these circumstances because I do not understand that level of poverty. I'm not making excuses for crimes committed, but extreme conditions produce extreme decisions whether they are good or bad. Some will commit crimes to survive; they will rob and steal to just survive. Of course, blacks are not the only ones that commit these crimes, all races do. The black race just has the highest percentage of their community living in poverty that could influence them to do so, according to Joydeen Roy of the Economic Policy Institute.

The duty of a police officer is to protect communities and the citizens within them. They have a responsibility to enforce the laws, and seek out those that disobey laws, without prejudice. We, as citizens, depend upon the police for these things. We have to hope that they make wise, fair decisions and use good judgment. We depend on them to think quickly and clearly at all times, which is probably a little unfair on our part. Our expectations of our law enforcement officials is awfully high. We must be prepared that they will make mistakes, but we must trust them to do their best. There have been a few cases where law enforcement officers have arrested or killed a citizen that seemed to be unfair, but we have to understand that they are doing what is necessary to protect our community and sometimes mistakes will be made. Sadly, police officers are not exempt from racial prejudice and we know that this factors into decision making. The police risk their lives every day for us, all we can ask from them is to do their best in the fairest manner possible.

In conclusion, I believe that we as citizens need to be more respectful of our law enforcement officials and one another, and not be so quick to criticize. We must acknowledge that without our law enforcement, the United States would be chaotic. People that break the law must be held accountable for their actions regardless of skin color, religion, gender, or their occupation.  

Cedar Creek School

Cedar Creek School

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