So for some time now, well since I’ve been at U of M, the issue of race and crime reporting comes up. In today’s Daily David Betts throws his hat in the ring about what’s wrong and what should be done. As you know, I personally love how almost every Black man available within 40 miles is indicted by each crime alert. But Betts tries to go a little deeper in his editorial. I appreciate the effort, but his call to action, is nothing more than a restatement of what he said he wasn’t interested in doing.
He opens up with…
“I was really psyched up to write my column for this week. I was going to blast the Department of Public Safety for the vague suspect descriptions and general emphasis on making sure black people don’t act up while white members of the campus community are allowed to run relatively free.”
And draws the piece to a close with…
“what we need to be doing is going to DPS and the AAPD and asking them, “What goes into a suspect description?” We need to explain to them why “baggy, hip-hop clothes” is an ineffective, racist remark. We need to ask them, “Why there is so much emphasis on having a presence at every black function?” We need to dedicate a lot of the energy spent on complaining to making sure the gentleman that was accidentally shot is OK.“
I agree with Betts that there are no easy answers. I think the answer is going to lie in a multi-fold approach institutionally: (communicating and pressuring DPS and AAPD to work on the descriptions they present), socially (fighting against stereotypes of Black men), and communally (being accountable for our actions). We can’t sacrifice anyone in this fight.
Filed under: General