Why we need to slow down on Race

Since Ferguson attention has been focused both on Race and the militarization of local police. The media presentation of the numerous incidents that followed, Staten Island, Baltimore, McKinney etc.....  Seemed to follow a scenario of white officer using force against persons of color which in turn created condemnation against the police and in several of the incidents rioting and looting of the area ensued.  Again as portrayed in media saw a rush to judgment for or against the Police along racial lines. Unfortunately what gets lost is common ground. No one wants rogue officers to literally get away with murder or for innocent people, police and others to be wrongly accused or reputation irreparably maligned.

By fitting each event in to similar scenario effectively precludes the operation of justice.  "Hands Up Don't Shoot" survives but the grand jury or the US Department of Justice finding no basis to charge the officer involved is lost. The State's Attorney in Baltimore rushing to charge the officers without serious investigation  may result in acquittals all around. Which in turn will gloss over the looting and destruction that followed the event.

Part of the anger against the police is the use of surplus military materials like weapons, tactical clothing and vehicles. Use of these items by local police against  protesters only serves to heat up a situation to the boiling point. Providing these items to local law enforcement it is argued only encourages their use. In fairness it may not be appropriate to outfit every local or county police department as a para-military organization.  However, in America's largest cities and those jurisdictions on the border having military grade materials and weapons are necessary to protect the public. Places like New York or LA or on the border the reality is the public is exposed to military level threats and therefore a military style response capacity is necessary. It is doubtful such needs exist in every community.

A further issue is the seeming complicity between media desperate for content to fill a 24 hour news cycle and self appointed leaders who descend on a location seeing an opportunity to assert their relevance by working to incite or otherwise exploit situation. Spokespersons hold news conferences  and make pronouncements devoid from and unaffected by the truth. The immediate choosing of sides causes otherwise well meaning people to make up their mind to attack or defend at the expense of justice. Any meaningful discussion about race is silenced and replaced with suspicion and stereotypes. Demands for equality to mitigate White Privilege and income inequality or the casting of all persons of color as being in sympathy with rioters and looters  destroying their own neighborhood.  Driven by stake holders in government, media and the public the divide only becomes deeper and understanding, healing and resolution remain all the more remote.