I think that after 56 years on this earth, I have finally learned that when it comes to matters of race, it is best not to have an opinion.
Whether it’s the Trayvon Martin episode or the Ferguson, Missouri riots, there seems to me no middle ground upon which reasonable people can plant a flag of common sense. The emotions are too raw, the optics too explosive, the ancient resentments still too raw.
Criticize the policeman for using excessive force and poor judgment in the death of Michael Brown, and you are judged to be unsympathetic to the plight of besieged policemen and ignorant of the daily dangers they face for our protection.
Criticize the appearance of storm-trooper-like policemen wielding machine guns and armored vehicles as a dangerous militarization of law enforcement, and you will be judged as soft on law and order.
Communicate concern over the surge in gun sales in and around Ferguson as a potential dangerous escalation and you become an anti-second amendment liberal.
Offer an observation on the breakdown of the African-American family today as a possible contributor to the lawless destruction of property in Ferguson, and you become a “blame the victim” racist.
Use the term “African-American” and you are complicit in the balkanization of America.
Point out the fact that using the occasion of a tragic death of a teenager at the hands of a policeman to stock up on tennis shoes and Bud Lite might not be an appropriate expression of your anger, and you are just another privileged white guy who doesn’t understand life in the hood.
Lament the arrival of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson on the scene and you are excused of trying to pick their leaders for them.
Point out the fact that since we are having so much trouble keeping the peace in the inner cities of America, perhaps we should stop trying to keep the peace in Iraq, and you are a dangerous isolationist.
Point out the fact that 6 years ago many liberals told us that the election of Obama was going to usher in a “post-racial America” and you are accused of hating him because he’s black.
Share your heartfelt opinion that the solution to the scourge of racial hatred in America can only be wiped out by a transformation of the heart which can only be accomplished by spiritual means and you are a religious fanatic bent on establishing a theocracy.
So, excuse me while I change the channel to ESPN and hunker down here in the suburbs. Engaging in this battle is a fight I am destined to lose.Peace, out.