It Must Be True

Bill Neinast

Until the 21st Century, the common belief was that everything reported in  newspapers was true.  This was reflected in the 1897 newspaper article known as “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.”

That article was prompted by Dr. Phillip O’Hanlon answering his daughter Virginia’s question about Santa Claus existing with, “If you see it in the Sun[newspaper], it is.”

More than a century later, belief in newspapers has been replaced by accepting as gospel everything seen on the evening TV news.  Now it is “Yes, Virginia, if you see it on TV, it has to be true.”

So although this is hard to believe, it must be true because it is reported endlessly on the TV networks.  According to these reports, the only individuals unnecessarily killed by the police are black men.

The Washington Post recently reported, “So far in 2016, there have been 708 documented deaths in police shootings, 173 of which have resulted in the deaths of African-Americans….325 white people and 111 Hispanics have been shot and killed by police so far in 2016. Of the 708 deaths reported, the races of 27 of those killed were described as other, and the races of 72 of the deceased are still unknown.

“Although there has been increased media attention surrounding the police killings of black people, statistics show the number of police shootings has increased among all races.”

So, according to the media, the only unjustified killings are among the 173 black victims.  The other 535 must have resulted from something like officers pulling their weapons and returning fire after being wounded.

If that were not so, the media would be continuously running clips for 48 hours or more of innocent white or hispanic men calmly standing in front of officers before they were  executed.  The reporters would also dig up purported witnesses to the shootings to claim the innocent victim was standing with his hands raised and pleading, “Don’t shoot.”

This, of course, is a facetious look at a serious matter.  There is no doubt that some innocent individuals of all races are killed by police.  The reasons for those tragedies are different in each case.

There are only two reasons, however, for the demonstrations and riots that are arising over the police shooting of black men.

The most serious cause is the TV networks.    They seem to be interested in police shootouts only if black men are the victims.  

In the 535 police shootings this year that did not involve blacks, at least one of them must have been under questionable circumstances.  So why was that one never seen on TV?

Aggravating that constant, repetitive stream of someone’s cell phone video of a police shooting are the rabble rousers claiming this is proof positive of police bias against black men.  The worst of these is Al Sharpton.

Remember him and Tawana Brawley?

That scandalous accusation of white officers abusing a young black girl is summed up in these two sentences from Wikipedia, “After hearing evidence, a grand jury concluded in October 1988 that Brawley had not been the victim of a forcible sexual assault and that she herself may have created the appearance of such an attack.The New York prosecutor whom Brawley had accused as one of her alleged assailants successfully sued Brawley and her three advisers [including Sharpton] for defamation.”

So here’s the perspective.

There may be overreaction by police officers in some confrontations with individuals of interest.  It is hard to believe, however, that the over reaction occurs only with black men.

The rioting and looting in response to the reported cases of the police shootings unnecessarily can be eliminated or reduced with two simple steps.

First, require reporters to verify the claims of police over reaction before putting them on the continuous re-run spools.

Second, bring back the childhood training of previous years when every male and female youngsters were taught to respect authority.

When are we going to start our youngsters to comply with every police request or order, even if they have done no wrong?  


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