There Are Ugly Problems In America

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Baylor University freshman Keshia Neal, of Georgetown,Texas, cries during a silent march against racism, Friday, Nov. 14, 2008, in Waco Texas. About 150 students gathered across the campus in wake of the alleged racial incidents on Election Day where a rope resembling a noose was found hanging from a tree. On Thursday, Baylor's Interim President David Garland announced that the rope turned out to be a discarded rope swing and was not a noose. (AP Photo/Waco Tribune Hearld, Rod Aydelotte) - FILE PHOTO
Baylor University freshman Keshia Neal, of Georgetown,Texas, cries during a silent march against racism, Friday, Nov. 14, 2008, in Waco Texas. About 150 students gathered across the campus in wake of the alleged racial incidents on Election Day where a rope resembling a noose was found hanging from a tree. On Thursday, Baylor’s Interim President David Garland announced that the rope turned out to be a discarded rope swing and was not a noose. (AP Photo/Waco Tribune Hearld, Rod Aydelotte) – FILE PHOTO

By Jerry Roker
for Bahamas Press

Make no mistake abut it, the United States of America is a wonderful country. That nation and its people are examples of so much of what is good about humanity.

There are any number of anthemic songs about the endless possibilities that this glorious, multilayered country provides. My favorite is New York, New York, sung by both Frank Sinatra and Alicia Keyes. “If you can’t make it here…..”

In many respects, the USA is all that and more, lavishly blessed with a legitimate claim to being the best country to live in on earth.

With that said, the USA has massive, ugly problems, chief among which is the way it treats non-white citizens. To be even more precise, the country has a serious problem with how its white police officers treat black people.

Everyone knows of the multiple cases of white policemen killing or seriously injuring black men in the USA over the past 3 years alone. A black, unarmed person is twice as likely as a white person to be shot and killed by the police in the USA . That’s horrifying in any developed country. So how can it be the norm in the USA ?

The late, great Billy Holiday has burned into my consciousness the horrors of black men strung up by white men in the USA, presiding in a bush court, in her tear-jerking song, “Strange Fruit.” Anyone who wonders why blacks in the US have a chip on their shoulder ought to listen to that song and then read the attendant stories of events that inspired the lyrics.

Back in 1988, the rap group NWA recorded the protest sung “**** Tha Police” 27 years later and blacks in the US still have reason to sing that song.