Everyone’s a little bit racist
I believe Mr. Liddick has misunderstood the president and the facts he quotes in his article are misleading. The FBI statistics represent demographics of perpetrators after a crime has been committed. What the president is referring to, and what the tragedy of the Trayvon Martin case illustrates, is the assumption based on appearance that a person will commit a crime. The 34 percent of carjackings represent 17,250 incidents. There are approximately 29 million black adults in the U.S. So if one sees a random black person crossing the street, not accounting for any other variables, the chances of that person committing a carjacking is 0.06 percent, assault 0.36 percent , robbery 0.16 percent and murder 0.01 percent. Are black people disproportionately represented in relation to their percentage of the population? Yes. Do you need reflexively lock your doors when a black person crosses the street near your car? No. It does not represent greater awareness, but ignorance.
Imagine this scenario, Mr. Liddick: You are driving through Summit County at 1 a.m., after arriving on a late flight to Denver. According to the FBI data, white people account for 85 percent of DUI arrests. I see you and, knowing this fact, am immediately suspicious you are driving drunk. I call the police and begin to follow you. Would you feel offended? Threatened? Angry? You know you are not committing a crime, so why should I be treating you like a criminal? Of course, the 85 percent statistic I am basing my assumption on is absurd, since it represents 788,175 arrests, and the white adult population is nearly 173 million.
The puppets of Avenue Q taught us last month that everyone’s a little bit racist. We all have a choice to try to educate ourselves and rise above, or to stagnate in fear and ignorance.