The recent Louisiana and Minnesota shootings, combined with the Dallas police ambush, painfully bring to the forefront, Black Americans' deep feelings of mistrust and anger at our justice system.
The fact that 21 years ago, the quick innocent verdict of OJ Simpson's innocence was widely celebrated by Blacks nationally while Whites felt he had literally gotten away with murder, should have told us we had a major problem to address.
Inequality has always been a bone in America's throat since we were founded in 1776. We fought a bloody civil war over it in the 1860s. Even with the great civil rights movement led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we continue to struggle with issues of racial injustice today.
Unaddressed, this can tear us apart. We need a just society; we need things to be fair. But the reality is, in America, if you have black skin, our police system is probably not going to treat you with the same respect it does if you have a white skin.
Don't get me wrong. This is a free country; everyone has a right to their opinions, and some, unfortunately, do not respect black people or other races. These people have the right to live here, but for the sake of the integrity of our nation and the rights of all citizens, they should not be allowed to participate in our system of justice.
We have 800,000 police officers who have both authority and weapons that can kill. To date, we don't seem to have an effective screening process to eliminate those who would misuse this power because of their biases.
So we need to make a dramatic national effort to address the situation, which would help inspire the confidence of Americans.
Here is one idea:
To date, the primary concern of police training is dealing with criminals and keeping the peace. I suspect evidence of prejudice in members is rarely dealt with.
There are simple psychological tests available to reveal biases, and indicate if further training or termination is needed. If we could expect unbiased police chiefs across our nation, we would clean up a lot of prejudice in our police stations pretty quickly. We could then utilize the test for incoming recruits.
Perhaps such a plan is not feasible. Still, we must recognize that racial injustice is very deep; it will divide us if it is not seriously addressed. It goes to the core of what America stands for.