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Police and racial discord in America

Friday, July 15, 2016
Tim Wildmon - Guest Columnist

Like many people, I am worried that we could see a race war in our country if things don't get better. God forbid.

Like most Americans, I am very concerned about what has happened between the black community and the police in our country. Sadly, I believe things are going to get worse before they get better (and we hope they get better) because police, by necessity, come into conflict with young black males more often because they represent the demographic committing the most crimes, and sometimes things are going to go bad. Or at least look bad. It's inevitable.

In addition, for black males between the ages of 15 and 34, the leading cause of death is homicide – and the vast majority of those murders are a result of black-on-black crime. So young black males, who represent maybe three percent of the population, are in conflict and altercations with the cops on a daily basis and with each other, which, as the statistics show, can be deadly.

Black people, in general, don't trust the police. That is just a fact. Maybe the police can do a better job of community outreach to the African-American community so they can hopefully regain their trust and respect. That will take some time, but is very much needed. I've heard many law enforcement leaders say as much in the wake of the recent protests and unrest.

But this got me to thinking about what could be done to change these statistics so that these young black men can get off the evening news and become productive citizens with an opportunity at a fulfilling life. Here are five steps that if put into practice – not just by young black men, but by anyone – will give that person a really good chance at a life of hope, peace, and contentment.

  1. Obey the law.
  2. Get at least a high school education.
  3. Don't be sexually promiscuous.
  4. Don't consume alcohol or take drugs.
  5. Go to church.

The great news about the five items I've just listed is that they are simple to understand and can be followed by anyone regardless of skin color and socio-economic status. These are life choices that could make all the difference in the world on how your life goes.

Immediately following the killing of the five police officers in Dallas one week ago, the nation became familiar with police Chief David Brown, an African-American. From the first time I heard this man speak at a press conference I was very impressed. At one of his press conferences he described the stress that many police officers feel today. Police are asked to do too much in our society, he said. They sometimes have to make life-and-death decisions in a matter of seconds. He said society must do its part to impart moral values and a respect for law and order which, to a large extent, has been lost in our country. He also said the result of 73 percent of black children being born to unmarried women is a problem police can't solve.

America, as a whole, must get back to honoring marriage and family as the anchor institutions for a civilized society. This is how God has set things up. Children need a mother and a father in the home to give them the very best chance to succeed in life and to stay out of trouble with the law. This is undeniable.

The best thing anyone can do for themselves is to give their life to Jesus Christ. He gives life meaning and purpose. He gives us hope for good things for today, tomorrow, and forever.

Like many people, I am worried that we could see a race war in our country if things don't get better. God forbid. The Bible instructs Christians to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. If I can borrow from that, I think it's time that American Christians pray for peace in our own country.

Tim Wildmon ( is president of the American Family Association in Tupelo, MS.

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