Criminal justice reform is one of the most critical matters confronting Americans today. Disparity in sentencing, perception of racism and favoritism against blacks and other minorities on the streets and avenues of our cities, and the seemingly racial qualifications between the practices of these minority citizens that then morph into discriminatory arrests and more extended periods of incarceration have broadened the gap between the populist driven agenda of Donald Trump and the inclusive policies of President Obama.
The notion that black Americans fear the police more so than other citizens is based upon their perception that the police are more likely to stop, detain and arrest them disproportionately. That belief is not based on idle or capricious conjecture: It is true that blacks (per capita) are far more likely to be arrested by the police. They are also (per capita) more often killed by police officers. These revelations, however, are moderated by the additional fact that minority Americans, particularly in the larger cities, are more likely to abound in hostile environments where police presence is denser.
In the aftermath of the deadly shootings of police officers in Baton Rouge and Dallas, the ideologies between some angry blacks and the antithetical populist-driven and derisive agenda of Trump followers have collided. These distinct beliefs have established a political divide not seen since the so-called “anti-establishment” crusades of the 1960’s, once traditional notions (not including the exasperation caused by the attacks on the police) of conservatives and liberals are portioned into the equation. The battlegrounds are clearly anchored. Plenty of protests will occur, but the division will not likely exceed the unrest witnessed during the Democratic convention in 1968. The issues are not even that different today than they were back then. In a significant way, the Vietnam debacle has been replaced by the cry for law and order and complaints of discrimination in the justice system. The latter issue has always been present in this country, but it is now at the vanguard with greater vigor.
The candidates are further apart in their philosophies, but ironically closer in the sense that the majority of Americans find them both offensive. They are both narcissists, psychopathic and Machiavellian. The current election appears to be one where American voters will be forced to choose the lesser of two evils or vote for a fringe candidate or stay away from the ballot box. Because we cannot tolerate the phoniness, dishonesty, and artificial temporal plasticity of both candidates, we are loathed to endorse either one. However, following the conclusion of both conventions, we will make a selection.