We need to check our biases

Jarrod Brown, Minot

I’ve read the Letters to the Editor, be they national or local, regarding the “plight of Black America” and Black Lives Matter. I can say I’m neither shocked nor appalled at the points presented. These are the same attitudes seen from those who opposed the Civil Rights Movement manifesting themselves in 2020 American society. That being said, one comment stood out. That is the idea of black on black crime.

Black on black crime is an accepted fallacy in American society.Those who are offended by the existence of Black Lives Matter parrot crime stats for black people. The truth is the majority of gross crime happens of an intraracial nature. Intraracial crime for whites and blacks are within eight percentage points of each other according to 2016 FBI statistics. That makes me question why only one group is considered violent. The idea that black people are inherently violent based on bald stats is really an excuse for people to hold on to their prejudice.

I’ll leave with this. Former Fargo Police Chief Todd Osmundson spoke about his latest experience. He said police are conditioned to see certain groups as suspicious. He recounted seeing his daughter’s white friends at the Black Lives Matter protest in Fargo. Wondering why they would attend he opened himself up to conversation. Through that conversation he realized he had been conditioned to stereotype Black people. To criminalize them when they were simply driving by. His reflection, while painful to admit, is needed. We need to check our biases about one another. Trust me, we all have them.

Ignorance is no excuse for mistreatment or the acceptance thereof.


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