My Open Letter to Conservatives
Conservative Black Man

I appreciate this piece and your point. However, seems that both sides are painting their respective pictures with too broad a brush. Your point is solid and I hope all readers give it consideration instead of brushing off. But your broad brush comes into play (in my opinion…not looking for agreement, just understanding ;)) in the consideration of individual personal accountability. It is a colorless concept, and implies that you, me and all others in this American society are accountable to each other in terms of our actions toward one another. You will get no debate from me about this concept in relation to your point about the oppression of blacks in American history. But society has placed laws and law enforcement procedures in place to hold us ALL accountable for our actions. There are approx 765000 police officers in America….of course some are criminals too, there always will be, and possibly in comparable numbers to society in general. But overwhelmingly, this crucial part of our civilized society operates daily per a very strict procedural doctrine based on laws. I don’t doubt that some Americans have been stopped in a “driving while black” scenario. But how many times have drivers been stopped due to a broken tail light or a missing front license plate? That may feel like being stopped for driving while black, but the driver is being held accountable for the issue with the vehicle. That is not the police officers fault, the law gives him/her the right to stop you for that violation. Instead of blaming the officer, why not get the tailight fixed or secure the front plate? It’s not the skin color that prompted the stop, the minor infraction did, AND that minor infraction CAN BE USED to observe if other illegalities are occurring with that driver (such as drunk driving, drug trafficking/possession etc.) because often times the reason for the traffic stop leads to more serious findings (not always). Keep in mind, our society built this procedure to keep our streets safe and find law breakers, no matter what color the skin of the driver is. When I’m stopped, I get nervous because I know the officer stopped me for a reason (they don’t stop randomly…they can’t). And I put on my best, most respectful behavior demeanor because I don’t want the ticket that I’m about to get. Never will I consider how do I get away from him/her for fear of a worse charge or physical altercation. If I’m asked (or even told) to do something, I instantly do it…again, trying to get the officer to let me go with a warning. But some in society do the opposite, because they say they fear for their lives. Seriously? How many American’s have been unlawfully assaulted or shot by obeying the officer? I actually saw a video once where a white man was shot by an officer while climbing out of his wrecked vehicle after a pursuit. Obviously the officer acted inappropriately, and unfortunately that will always happen because of human failings. Certainly the officer should be held accountable for his actions, but keep in mind, he was trying to hold the suspect accountable for something, but instead of stopping, this individual fled. We all must remember, law enforcement is an agreed upon societal necessity, and the performance of that work automatically puts officers in a position of authority. It’s not fun for individuals when stopped by officers, but avoiding accountability for your actions will ALWAYS end up in a worse result than just doing EXACTLY what the officer requests (or tells us). We are ALL accountable to society for that.

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