"My son-in-law is a police officer and he isn't like that! He's a good man."
Common defense of white people of a system badly in need of reform. Such defensive comments exemplify a total lack of understanding of the problem.
The problem is not about individual behavior but about a dysfunctional system that supports the individual's behavior when it's bad.
Which leads to the question of "What's wrong with policing in America?"
Let's stop getting outraged over individual behavior in specific incidences and look at patterns of behavior over a period a time.
Is policing in the United States racist?
The evidence is plain to see for anyone who wants to look.
The moral Unitarian Universalist has covenanted together to affirm and promote the responsible search for truth and meaning. All too often this principle is only enacted when what is heard agrees with what one thinks.
UUs are as defensive as anyone when it comes to their core beliefs being challenged. We immediately want to defend ourselves and our loved ones even when they participate in systems that generate and condone racist and violent behavior.
There is no system in the United States that is as violent and kills and injures more people than our criminal justice system. The whole system is long overdue for a major overhaul. All citizens, but especially Unitarian Univeralists, have an obligation to do an objective and impartial assessment of the system and then do what they can to change it for the better.
Two things we can do immediately are:
- Support community police accountability boards
- Move to restorative rather than adversarial criminal justice system.