Black Lives Matter illustration with strong fist

BLACK LIVES MATTER

Yes, I know this is about Web marketing. Please accept this single departure from the topic. It’s time for every one of us to speak out, with every platform we have, on the issue of racial justice, particularly police brutality toward black people. Perhaps, after 400 years, we care enough to actually try to solve the problem.

I first learned of police brutality toward black people in 1965, when I went on a double date with Wade Horsey, a black fellow Hopkins undergrad in my class of ’65. We went to Sandy Point State Park. On the way back, his date spoke about being pulled over for a speeding ticket, and spoke of it as something she feared. It turns out that searching all passengers in the car was routine for her for a traffic stop.

Recently I was horrified to watch the police murder Floyd George, in public, while this poor man begged for his life. A policeman acts like that in front of other police officers and the public only if he believes that his colleagues–and the entire power structure above him–will lie for him and he will never be penalized.

The thousands of demonstrators nationwide give me encouragement, because I see many white faces in the large crowds. If whites finally recognize this problem and take it up, then perhaps even the flaccid U.S. Senate will wake up and help enact federal laws to make choke holds illegal, require police to intervene if their colleagues are commiting a crime, require body cameras for all police, and require independent prosecutors for police crimes.

Our fellow citizens who are black have to teach their children strategies to use in public, especially with police, to protect their lives. When will the rest of us wake up to the shame of such unequal, unfair treatment, and demand better of our government, or society and, especially, our police?

I hope that we have reached a turning point, although I’ve heard that before. I recall a black friend talking about the “post-racial America” that we were entering when Barack Obama was elected president. Instead, having a black president unleashed a fury of racism even, shamefully, on the part of elected officials.

It’s up to all of us to speak out everywhere we can, through every vehicle we have, to end this despicable part of our national heritage, that has hobbled us for 400 years.

Black Lives Matter!

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