I never knew that they had settled down there. It seemed strange advertising it like that. It was as if the Town of Brookline, which in reality is more a city than a town, advertised “Tom and Giselle Brady Live in Brookline.”
We have been through a strange week. I watched the hearing on Comey. Everyone started off by saying he was a man of great integrity. That sort of puts the inquiry to an end if you want to believe that. How can you question the decision of a man you have just praised in that manner? Can you admit his integrity while questioning his courage, or his judgment? I do not think so in this situation.
The Huffington Post has a follow-up on its story about U.S. Attorney Ortiz. It notes how the reaction to it proved its point. It has a couple of quotes from me in the article.
We have lost five police officers in Dallas, Texas. This appears to be the direct result of the killings of a black man in Louisiana and another in Minnesota. Those Dallas murders certainly threw a wet blanket over the protests that were occurring in the many cities throughout the United States. When my wife heard about Dallas she said if she were a police officer she would turn in her badge.
How about the Minnesota governor saying that if it were a white man who was stopped he still would be alive? Do you believe it? Truthfully, what do you think?
I was sitting in my car last Wednesday on Fenwood Road waiting for my wife who had an appointment at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. It was a hot day. I was parked under a tree but half my car stuck out into the intersection of Kempton Street. My windows were down. A young athletic built black male crossed the street toward me. I was not sure what to expect. I wondered whether my reaction to him as he approached would have been different if he were white. He told me he was going to move his car which was in front of me and that I could have his space. I thanked him.
Are whites conditionied into thinking we should be more on the alert when approached by a black man rather than a white man. Was Jesse Jackson right on when he identified the problem in himself. He was quoted as saying: “There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps… then turn around and see somebody white and feel relieved.”
It does seem clear that white police officers react differently when approaching a black man than one of another race. What can an individual black person do if he lives in a high crime district where he is under constant threat but carries a gun to protect himself? Isn’t that what the NRA advocates? The two black men killed last week were carrying guns which the white officers knew about which had to have heighten their fears even though neither man, as is known at this time, had the weapon in his hand.
President Ronald Reagan said to Soviet Leader Michael Gorbachev: “Tear down this wall, Mr. Gorbachev.” I believe we need someone to say to the American people that they too must tear down the walls that separate white from black. A prime example of that is the gated communities throughout America created to keep the blacks out. They should be outlawed as should the private police forces that guard them.
Then we have to swallow our racial pride and our fears and recognize that we are all Americans. We are entitled to the same rights and freedoms. Each one of us must make an effort to do better in this area.
I hope you don’t tell me blacks are better off in America than any other place in the world. Even if that were true what does it matter. They are Americans and should be compared to other Americans.
In studying J. Edgar Hoover’s life, I discovered he had one great fear. It was that the African-American population of America would tire of being left behind and become weary at not being allowed to share in the benefits accorded to the whites and would rise up like the workers in Russia in 1905.
It did not happen during his lifetime. He certainly did everything in his power to ensure that. But many things have changed since 1972. Hopes that once filled the air seem to have disappeared.
The events we are experiencing are like the rumblings of a volcano — warning of an explosion that may soon come – as Hoover feared. We have to do all in our power to prevent it. Let us follow Ronald Reagan’s advice to the Soviets and apply it to ourselves.