On Race Relations


I was concerned with some of Gary Rosenblatt’s statements related to race relations in the United States (“Truth Under The Gun,” July 28).

I agree that they are worse today and that is truly unfortunate. However, based on the tenor of the remarks on this issue, Rosenblatt and I would not agree on the reasons why. His reference to “the killing of innocent blacks at the hands of police officers” casts a pall over the overwhelming number of police officers who do their job daily, saving lives and protecting innocent people of all colors. Rosenblatt should have qualified his statement, mentioning that the instances he mentioned are rare. Let’s not assume, as some politicians have, that the police are always to blame.

Rosenblatt’s statement can also be taken to include the Ferguson incident in which the deceased had a criminal record, had recently threatened a grocery store employee on tape and was menacingly approaching the officer. The officer was acquitted by the grand jury and even the Obama Justice Department declined to bring a civil rights action. One outcome was the award of civil damages to the victim’s parents, including the stepfather who reportedly urged rioting; rather than being prosecuted, he received some compensation.

Too often today the news media does not take the time to place what they say in context. That’s true, whether the reason is time constraints or that providing balance goes against their political or social views. I agree with Rosenblatt that “truth is under siege,” but would also refer to the late Senator Moynihan’s statement, quoted in the column, that “everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.”