The Black Psyche in America

Five police officers in Dallas were shot to death by a black man who had fought in Afghanistan. The American reaction against him has been quite different from the reaction against those who commit crimes in the name of Islam, from Sept. 11 to Orlando. The contrast is clear: The Dallas crime took place in the context of social transition from racism to tolerance, when the law had not been sufficient to bring about change in people’s hearts, or in social behavior. It has instead required time, effort and solidarity.

The gloating on Arab social media is uncalled for, since the perpetrator, Micah Xavier Johnson, was not concerned with the Arab problems that some attribute to policies in Washington. The ones who blame Washington for Arab problems are shirking their responsibilities and instigating the use of that despicable slogan “Death to America.” There is a consensus among Americans in condemning acts of terrorism committed in their country in the name of Islam, especially when those perpetrators show no distinction between human life and property, as if they are sentencing the whole nation to execution.

The reaction to a hit is a kick, the reaction to arrest is killing, and the reaction to one crime is an accumulation of crimes. Thus black Americans are not satisfied with demonstrations and promises of peace. It seems as though their rise among the ranks of the U.S. military in the George H.W. Bush era, and their rise in administrative positions like secretary of state in the era of George W. Bush, and finally their rise to the presidency in Barack Obama, has made the black psyche grow presumptuous, making them grow weary of the regular marginalization they feel. Many are losing patience on the long road to tolerance.

Black radicals in the United States are practicing an inverted racism. Whenever a disadvantaged group achieves something, there is a rise in expectations, to the point that it is difficult for them to be satisfied with status quo social controls and rule of law. But the American system is stronger than supposed by outside detractors and internal skeptics. When Obama stated in a speech eulogizing the five officers that America was not as much racially and politically divided as people supposed, tea party activist Joe Walsh tweeted the following message, which has since been deleted: “This is now war. Watch out Obama. Watch out black lives matter punks. Real America is coming for you.”

Insofar as the problem is there, the way of dealing with it is also there in governance, culture and media. The efforts of Hollywood suffice to show an example of America trying to purify its image before itself and the rest of the world. They do this through artistically excellent films depicting blacks suffering along the road to equality as national heroes. The social problem is actually less dangerous than the problem of drug gangs in Latino communities connected to similar gangs in Central America. The social problem is not really a threat to the United States. Blacks are distributed throughout the states and do not have an overwhelming predominance in any specific state. They are present in neighborhoods almost exclusively resided in by them in most cities, just as in the case of Chinese, Italians and Greeks.

Starting yesterday, the president held a meeting in the White House seeking solutions to the problems of fear and lack of trust among a number of factions in American society. Those present belonged to law enforcement, civil rights organizations, university faculties and state politicians. The main goal and perhaps the most achievable goal was to solve the problem of police culture. The police form the most direct presence of the law in the lives of citizens. The police are relied upon by the oppressed, victims of violence, even those who get lost in the alleys of big cities or the outskirts of small towns. The police are also those feared by law-breakers and criminals, keeping them in check. So this is where they begin, from the crime in Dallas and what led to it, as if this is attributable to the police.

The American system is able to withstand more than the events in Dallas. Think of the power outages in New York, or the events of greater Los Angeles, or the demonstrations of millions of blacks in Washington D.C., not to mention the surprise of Sept. 11.

America can bear it, but some today are calling for change, especially in the laws allowing possession of firearms, which are meant to secure liberty and prevent dictatorships. As Confucius said, if you don’t punish the guilty, you will punish the innocent.

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