Perspectives on Race

A Discussion about Events Concerning Race

Shooting of Black Man in Church

with 2 comments

I recently read an article on the MSNBC website describing an event where two white police officers shot and killed a black man inside of a church while children were watching. Although the opposing sides have differing accounts of whether the suspect surrendered or attacked the officers, both sides agree that the man (Mark Anthony Barmore) did in fact run from the officers upon seeing them, which “highlights the suspicion and fear that can poison relationships between police and minority communities across the country.”

Upon reading this article, at first thought I assumed this to be a purely race based issue and expected a bigger response from minority organizations. However, I was surprised when I read that Benjamin Todd Jealous, the CEO and president of the NAACP is not pushing this as a race issue, but more as a problem with national standards for use of force; stating: “is not primarily about racism, …We want to make sure the standards are the most modern and appropriate ones possible.”

Jealous used the example of the 72-year-old white woman who was tasered by a white police officer at a traffic stop as a counter example to the Barmore case.

I was pleasantly surprised at how calmly the NAACP handled this case and see this as a positive step in improving race relations. The CEO of the NAACP has, in his statement, greatly helped by not making this a race issue and addressing the main issue of the lack of regulation of the use of force by police as opposed to focusing on the differences in skin color between the two parties involved.


Written by justinjayjones

September 12, 2009 at 10:03 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. I think thats a good response. If someone screams “racism” and a big deal is made out of it every time a white man and a minority figure interact in a contentious fashion then President Obama would need a lot more beer.


    September 13, 2009 at 1:39 am

  2. As an African American I would, of course agree, that there is racism in our society. Whether it’s stated explicitly or is implicitly applied, it still exists. But not all issues in the news involving a white man who is the “authoritarian” so to say and a black man who is being “punished” is always going to be a racist issue. Sometimes that is how the event/situation is. The racial factors that are involved don’t necessarily point to racism.


    September 13, 2009 at 3:41 pm

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