THIS ONE HURTS

A social psychologist and researcher, James Pennebaker, found that whenever a catastrophic event occurs there comes a increase of physical illness in the immediate locale.  So the number of heart attacks, strokes and various outbreaks of illness will increase above the actuarial tables for that locale as compared to non affected areas.

So with the recent shootings in Dallas, Minnesota and Louisiana we expect to see physical expressions of a deep sadness.  However I suspect the hurt from these incidents has a broader reach than most.

I believe that the horror of these shootings leads most people to want to blame someone.  Black Lives Matter blames the police, the white community blames black lives matter.  I possess a different view, a longer view, a three dimensional view.  I readily admit that this view has many weaknesses, but the statistical numbers show a different view.

Work with me here as this needs to be developed.

I grew up in Chicago and went to a fully integrated public high school for exceptional students.  So the African Americans (they were called black back then) I knew possessed good intellect, scored high on tests and competed with all students equally.  I never saw the segregation things that the history books show in Chicago.  I never had bad feelings against blacks, in fact I played several sports and became teammates with many whom I admired for various reasons.

This is not to say that things weren’t taking place — they were.   I just saw it outside of my experience.  Let me give an example.  I noticed that black athletes played very aggressively.  I sought to imitate that style.  They also tended to band together as blacks.  I understood that as they took the bus south and I went west.  They went home to a life I did not comprehend.

As a forensic neuropsychologist,  I evaluated thousands of black youth who entered the criminal system.  They committed the crimes they were charged with, usually against other blacks in a black neighborhood.  As an intern I tested all the youth in the juvenile justice center and I saw one IQ score above the average.

Remember I went to a high school where we all scored high on tests.  The major issue I saw was not poverty, not poor schools, not hunger.  I saw a culture that did not fit.  You can say they didn’t fit because of racism but here in Miami special programs were offered to assist the youth and the families.  The number of uneducated, poorly employable moms stood off the chart compared to other cultures.

I saw the issue one of culture.  Yes a culture that did not fit in the current state of America.  It seemed that the culture accepted deadbeat dads.  It seemed that mothers worked but had no time, at all, to watch or control their children.

The same low standard school the blacks attended also housed the white students.  But the divide widened.

It is easy to want to point the finger but as my mother said, “Remember the other three finger point back at you.”  There is no one thing that makes this divide.  Reread that last line.  I will suggest some things that chew at the fabric of inequality.

First, the murder of anyone for any reason should sadden us.  If a person is in the commission of a crime and gets shot the sadness is how that person got there.  What led a person to crime?  A bad family?  Lack of good parenting? Lack of a social conscience?  This happens in all cultures.  No exceptions.  Even good parenting  can be overpowered by a culture.  In this case I am talking of the  cell phone, television/ movie violence, the I gotta have this now, you owe it to me culture.  You all know of which I speak.

As a white male, I have a similar feeling that the blacks speak of.  I am disliked not because I worked my way through school, I figured out how to further my education, I held two jobs, but because I am white.  So think if you have a less educated white populace feeling the threat from another group.  No, not that their status is threatened because it isn’t.  The whites are suffering  as much as any segment of the population.

Let’s do the math on this one.  Four guys are drinking in a bar.  They all work and all four earn the average of $53,000 a year.  The average salary of the American household.  In walks Bill Gates.  What is their average salary now?

Yes, Gates is white.  The point is that the average white American struggles with the average black American.  The whites resent the complaints, they resent the implication that they have something to do with the black culture.

It takes place right here.  Somebody is quoted in the press with an anti black statement.  It goes viral.  More hate receives a promotion.

In comes political correctness.  You can’t say or feel certain ways because it is wrong by someone’s self imposed belief.

Let’s examine the statistics.  Under what president have the most shootings and mass shooting occurred?  Of the last four presidents, where has the financial inequality been the largest?  Of those same four presidents, which one has done the least for the American Black?

Having worked with police officers both on the street (as a paramedic) and in treatment as a psychologist they feared for their safety more working in a black neighborhood.  The FBI crime statistics clearly show that black on black crime is reported as high but less than black on white crime.  This includes all types of crime.  The statistics are frightening.

The cries to stop black crime are muffled  by the press.  They report the crimes that sell ads.  As in gun control, the statistics show that more crimes are prevented with the use of a gun than in the commission of a crime with a gun.  That is carefully withheld from the public debate  What else is held from the public debate?

There exists no “one solution.”  But there are places to start.  The protest in Dallas had the right intent but that was lost in the sniper shooting.  The whites tried to defend the  actions of a bad police action and the blacks, likewise, tried to defend the actions of a hate crime.

Unfortunately, I believe that I know how this ends.  Neither side will take responsibility for their faults largely because they believe they are without fault.  Solve that and solutions will make sense.

Get rid of the politicians who talk but don’t walk.  They won’t care because their pensions are so cushy.

Don’t listen to the press.  They wrote and gave statements that portrayed the police stop as unwarranted.

I believe that before anyone can talk about a police shooting they must take the police good guy bad guy shooting test and report their score while they talk to the press

I may not be right but I have ideas.

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