The Issue is Crime, Not Race

In all the discussions about Ferguson and the relationship between black communities and law enforcement, I believe the real issue is being swept under the carpet, as it always is when politicians and the Media are involved. The problem, for the most part, doesn’t seem to be racial prejudice, but the crime and violence that exist in this country today.

White people don’t avoid certain neighborhoods in Atlanta and other big cities because of the color of the skin of the people living there – they avoid them because of the crime. Because most of those neighborhoods happen to be black, and because of the way the Media highlights those crimes on the news every night, white people connect the crime with the people living there. They don’t feel safe in those places, and they transfer that fear to the people.

When I was in college, I had a black friend here in Lenoir named Herbie Dula. He was one of the finest men I’ve ever known and I think about him almost every day. One night, his neighbor, who was also black, was fighting with his wife and Herbie went over to see if he could break it up. He was shot and killed by the husband. What a tragedy, and what a waste of a good man! This kind of violence seems to exist more in black communities than in white. I’ve never personally known a white person that was shot and killed in a domestic dispute; but, if the nightly news is to be believed, it seems almost commonplace in certain black communities.

My point is, why aren’t we focusing on the crime and violence that exists in our communities instead of chasing this red herring of race?

We’ve done the same thing with the mass shootings in this country. All of them have been committed by mentally ill people. So why are we talking about guns instead of mental illness? Another red herring.

Race and guns are emotionally charged issues that politicians, with the help of the Media, know will distract people, so they can continue doing nothing about the real problems and focus on their careers. That’s the coward’s way out.

What we need today are people with courage and honesty, who will address the real issues facing us – not posers waiting for the next photo op. We have men and women like that in uniform. We need more of them in public office.

Waitsel Smith

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{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Vince OKeefe January 12, 2015, 10:05 PM

    Well done, Waits! Thanks for having the courage to publish this, and I agree with you 100%


  • Marietta Smith January 14, 2015, 6:29 AM

    Right on the money Waitsel! Guns don’t kill. People do! And racisism is a ploy of the media to sell newspapers and garner viewers. You know America’s penchant for violent shows on TV. So the press and television grabs it and promotes it. We are definitely looking in the wrong place for solutions!

  • Marci Casey January 14, 2015, 1:06 PM


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