Sunday, May 20, 2018
News Roundup

Hooper: Try empathy and understanding before you judge

A reader sent an email detailing a list of misdeeds, real and perceived, and noted they all had been committed by blacks.

He cited the list as proof today’s blacks should be referred to with the n-word, and he chided me for not criticizing movements such as Black Lives Matter and the protests of NFL players. A strange mix, indeed.

This reader is not alone in wrongly examining issues through an unfocused racial lens, but what good does it do to suggest a list of criminal acts is representative of an entire race or culture? Blacks, like any group, are so much more complex than what makes headlines.

No right-minded person condones criminality, but the truly informed recognize solutions rise not from unenlightened judgments but from empathy and understanding. Unfairly lumping in peaceful demonstrations and civil disobedience with criminal acts does nothing to help.

Yet some insist on propelling this perspective, and argue if "respectable" blacks would speak out against their own and just "control your people," the protests of today could be mollified.

Wow, the disconnect is real.

We shouldn’t attempt to mute those who march. We want them to care, and to channel that care into meaningful change. There’s still work left to be done.

This reader asked how black leaders of the past would react to Black Lives Matter. I asked him how he thought Jim Zwerg, Mickey Schwerner and James Reeb might react to any citizen who believes so-called small issues can go ignored.

These heroes (Google their names if you must) risked their lives because they understood solutions come from community collaboration, not race-based condemnation.

That’s all I’m saying.

 

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