This comment by Paul on the post I, Too Am Jordan Davis
Do you think it’s possible that you are missing a point here? I agree that young black men are viewed with suspicion and fear more than any other group in society, and that’s unfortunate and wrong; I hope it can be addressed and corrected. But do you think the whole thing is attributable to skin color, or even to cultural difference? I don’t see Oprah Winfrey cruising around blaring bass. I don’t see Neil Degrasse Tyson wearing his pants down below his ass and sauntering defiantly across the street, daring someone to say something. You even say you made a conscious choice to smile and appear more “respectful.” I mean, you can’t ignore the effrontery of music that rattles every car within 100 feet: it IS obnoxious, pretty much to the point of being threatening–no matter what the intention is, it says to others “I dare you to say something.” I’m not saying it validates racism; hell, white kids do it too. But doesn’t it bother you that disrespectful behavior in the name of “keeping it real” gives idiot racists fuel for their hatred? And it ends up hurting you, as a responsible and intelligent person. It ends up getting a nice kid like Trayvon Martin killed.
I know there are reasons kids have difficulty being respectful, especially black kids in a society that doesn’t seem to respect them, but that doesn’t mean they get a pass, it means they need attention. Society needs to step up to give them a slap on the wrist followed by help and understanding that they can be good citizens and find happiness. We should address it even sooner with free preschool and youth programs.
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