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The Importance of Open Communication

Wallace Mabry

Wallace Mabry

Op/Ed By Wallace Mabry


A commentary, titled, “Open Communication Needed,” in the Letter to the Editor section of the September 23, 2016 Democrat & Chronicle, from a Brighton resident, posed a simple solution “to curtail the violent interactions” between the police, nation-wide, and the Black community: Black people should obey the law.

The gentleman, whose name will not be mentioned here, like a majority of like-minded white folks and no few others, feels, based on what may be his best guess, based on his educational achievements, financial integrity, and his concomitant conferred (privileged) social position in the American mainstream, that the problems inherent in the violent interactions lie with and within the attitudes and behaviors of those Black folks who live within the confines of urban communities, a euphemism for Black, concentrated communities.

To this gentleman and his like compatriots, white and otherwise, is offered this simple retort: People who lack the enlightenment or who avoid reckoning with the social, political, cultural, and educational facts of the social history of America, and the psychological fallout and consequences of that history, leads one to the question of who is less qualified to recommend a solution to the problems associated with the violence.

We, Black folks, continually talk ourselves into exhaustion, laying bare historical, psychological, cultural, economic, educational, social, and contemporary facts in support of our contention that we are seldom, if ever, talking about the same things when we do find ourselves sitting down to talk with white folks and others about the causes and effects of today’s social, legal, and yes, law related injustices.

Underpinning the causes and effects of our differences is some indifference and the fact that white folks and their supporting cast of others hear little, comprehend nothing, are willing to change very little, and always come back with:  “Let us look at our similarities. What we have in common is our humanity. Let us forget about the past atrocities of slavery, lynching, burnings, rapes, and murders. Let us give you job training, allow you to move into our communities (those of you we can trust). Let us improve your schools. Let us recruit and add more colored people to our police departments,” ad infinitum. The BS just goes on and on ad nauseam.

Consider ex-president Bill Clinton’s comment made during his wife’s presidential campaign following the Black protests about the murdering of unarmed Black people, Black males in particular, by white racist police officers. Clinton said Black folks should forget about that slavery stuff. That recalling those days only prevents the “nation” from moving forward.

It is significant that Clinton, no other white person, and no supporting cast of others tell the Jewish people to forget about their particular holocaust experiences. The question is, is it because they are white hence their cause is more legitimate in the eyes of the nation and the world?

FYI to Clinton, white folks, and the supporting cast of others: Africans that died en route to America via the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, the middle passage, far exceeded the number of Jews killed in the holocaust of the 1930’s and 40’s. Where is the outcry?

The fact is that the delegation from the United States walked out of the United Nations World Conference against racism in August 2001. Why? The conference declared American chattel slavery as a crime against humanity.

It is clear that privileged white America and their supporting cast refuse to acknowledge any fact deemed contrary to America’s sense of well-being and justice.

Where do we go from here?

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