by Hugo Acosta
For the last few weeks, many have asked my opinion about these issues happening about “Black Lives Matters”, and “Police Abuse” and “Black discrimination” and “noose in Black-people garages”… some were reporters and members of the media (like myself), some others friends and associates that tried to develop a nowadays conversation (or tried to develop a controversial conversation)… and in almost all cases, I tried to avoid to answer…
Well, let me respond to all of them here.
However… before I say anything, lets have something clear (in case I might be misinterpreted):
I do understand and support the “Black Lives Matters” concept, I can see and sanction the existence of “Police Abuse”, I have noticed and experienced the clear presence of “Black discrimination” in our society, and I completely object and condemn the offensive actions done to attack and offend the African American community.
However, I really would like to compliment (or reinforce?) my response above, with a few significant additional words, to make it clear that my support or opposition is conditional.
So… let me try again…
I do understand and support the “Black Lives Matters” concept that has been lately so strongly publicized and based only in one ethnic group, I can see and sanction the existence of some “Police Abuse” in some areas in America, I have noticed and experienced the clear presence of “Black discrimination” in many aspects of our lives and many sectors of our society, and I completely object and condemn the offensive actions some ignorant people perform to attack and offend the noble African American community that live with us.
Let me try to explain (assuming you are still reading this)
Black Lives Matters…!!! Of course Black Lives Matters… and White Lives – also – Matters… and Yellow ones… and Brown (Latino) ones… ALL LIVES MATTER..! that is the case now, and that has been case all times… and I know Black Lives Matters has been lately so strongly publicized and based only in one ethnic group, because of what it has so strongly happened lately, to the African American community. And because of these incidents that has happened recently, I do agree to make the emphasis now, but I also think we should be careful not to take it to an extreme, because this will disrupt the balance, we supposed to have in all our LIVES.
Police Abuse exists, and it had existed for a long while; it has been a controversial behavior that many law enforcement organizations (like the FBI, the Military, Homeland Security, Security Guards, Nightclubs bouncers, even some School teachers) had to develop and integrate, as part of their strategy to overcome and control the overpowering evil or incontrollable enemy. The actual action of “abuse” (in the moral sense of “abuse”) is something I think it has to exist in these organizations, but it should be applied in the right situations to the appropriate people. What I personally think happened, is that in many (not all of them) of these organizations some (not all of them) of their members in some (again, not all of them) of their headquarters, precincts, police departments, schools, under some (again, not all of them) situations, that behavior escalated, and intensified, and rose to the point that control was lost, and abuse was performed, to the point that in some (again, not all of them) situations, tragedy occurred.
Black discrimination also exists, and it had also existed for a long while, and as an unfortunate fact of our society. It has been a controversial social response towards minorities, that has developed for years, to obtain or preserve collective dominance, public leadership, and supremacy control. However, even though Black discrimination has been an unfair abusive and very often inhumane mark in our society, for many generations, I also think this social mark has been more recognized as a problem in our society, it has been accepted with our new generation as “thing of the past”, and slowly but surely being corrected among us (the oldest generation). Please, notice that I AM NOT saying the Black Discriminations has been eliminated.
Actions done to attack and offend the African American community is the result of ignorant people (assumed to be “white” people) that use hidden sneaky tactics, to send a message (usually of “hate”). This is a repulsive action that has reflected in other collective aspects of our society, with issues like “bulling” (usually in young generations), homosexualism, some religious groups, foreigners or immigrants, and now it has been revived with the recent outcomes happening against the African American people.
Our society through the many years, have created many organizations, to run many different things that our society needs, and many of those organizations are institutions that supposed to provide very beneficial services or products. It’s supposed to provide assistance to the needed, and in many occasions’ charitable contributions, not necessarily with money, but also with unique dedicated customized services and products. We have experienced however that some of those “nice organizations” have also failed us with some members of those organizations – let’s call it – bad apples. For example, the Boy Scouts of America; the Movie and Entertainment industry; the Clergy (as part of religion and faith organizations); summer schools; colleges and other educational institutions; and even governmental departments and sections of our political system that some members of these organizations, have failed in providing protection and trust, while serving with good services or products as part of their mission.
Lately, one of those institutions that have come up to the top of the news and the media, is the police department, where again, similar to those institutions mentioned before, some members of those organizations, in some police departments of different cities in America, have failed in providing what is supposed to be the protection and assistant, to the citizens that they supposed to serve; so my point here is, there are just about any type of organization, business, department, company, club, or any type of a structured group that, as long as there is evil, as long as there are bad people, as long as there is poorly educated personnel, as long as there are members with toxic mind, as long as we have this in society, as long as we have this in the world, and of course in America, there is always going to be a part of those departments, a part of those organizations, a part of those institutions, that (sooner or later) will mark in a very negative way what those departments, organizations, or institutions supposed to provide to their patrons, their customers, their citizens, which is the case with the police department of any city in America
The part that we have to be careful is that when this happens, we should not, and really cannot, label the overall institution, the entire department, the complete organization, as whatever it is that this bad apple or these bad apples made negatively. Not only is an exaggerated generalization to do that, but it’s also very unfair to the rest of the personnel, to the rest of the people or members of this institution, organization, or department to carry that wrong mark, especially when those bad apples are very few members overall. I am trying in my editorial here, to focus towards the bad cops, that are giving the entire police departments in the entire country, a bad reputation and a bad image (specially against minorities). I really want to believe these bad apples, are a very small part of the overall personnel (I haven’t had the time to collect actual data or factual information that could give a proper comparison of what is the actual minimum percentage of accused members of the police departments from different cities in the country vs. the rest of the personnel; however, I know personally many member of the Police department of some cities and towns in the Central New York State area, and I am convinced – based in this possible small experience – that the majority of the Police Departments members, are good descent people, that are against racism, abuse, and discrimination).
With all this said, I still insist, and I still repeat that those bad apples that cause such a damaging image and a strong toxic consequences to the police departments of different cities in America, should be eliminated, and not only that, but these different departments, these different organizations or institutions, should create some sort of program, some sort of procedure where they should be looking for more of these “bad apples”… these toxic members of their organizations. At the same time, it concerns me that the reaction of those that represent the “affected people”, are organizing walks and demonstrations, that in some instances, turn out to have looting and destruction, that not only makes the message be tinted the wrong way, and with the help of the media (remember I am also part of the media), eliminate any possible credibility the protesters, activists, or demonstrators were trying to deliver.
I strongly believe all these issues in (the American) society, is happening somehow and in some amount, in all the Ethnic and/or minority groups; clearly more in some groups than in others, and clearly more often lately than in past times; but, for the leaders of these Ethnic and/or minority groups to take it to an extreme, hoping to tilt the balance towards the other end, it will only move the perception of these issues… to another extreme. I wish someone could come up with a way to reach that balance, instead of pushing these issues to the exaggerated extreme (I wish I could come up with that way, and print it here); but, pushing to the extreme will not resolve the unbalance that we have in our society and that we are living with all Ethnic, Social, and Minority Groups.
With this editorial I tried to convince our readers, that is not the majority in any of these organizations, that have hate, discrimination, or racism, or even abuse against Black people, or Latinos, or a minority… I do accept that there is hate, discrimination, or racism, or even abuse against Black people, or Latinos, or a minority in selected members of these organizations, and many other organizations, and everywhere in America (and even the rest of world)… but, I cannot accept or even believe that an entire Police Department, or an entire Boy Scouts division, or an entire City Clergy Group, or the whole Movie and Entertainment Industry… any of these organizations as a whole, has a full agenda to be hateful, discriminative, racist, or abusive against Black People.
I really believe we need to be very careful not to take to the extreme, what many minority leaders and members of the affected groups think is the solution. I don’t want to speculate how to resolve all this, or even assume I know what these leaders think the solution is, but going to extreme where the perception should be to completely flip an organization or an ethnic group, to the other extreme of evil over goodness, and vice versa… that will not resolve the problem… that will only change the perception of who is doing or receiving that problem now.