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George Pyle: If white folks are afraid of black people, maybe it is out of guilt

A round-up of commentary and news

James Shaw, right, gets a hug from Waffle House CEO Walt Ehmer during a news conference on the Waffle House shooting Sunday, April 22, 2018 in Nashville. Shaw wrestled the gun from the suspect. (Wade Payne/The Tennessean via AP)

Racism and stupidity — mostly stupidity — still drive us apart — George Pyle | The Salt Lake Tribune

Whether it’s the manager of a coffee bar or a police officer with his gun drawn, we are clearly dealing with white people acting, not out of a thought-through feeling of racial superiority, but out of a reptile-brain fear that the black person standing before them is a threat. A feeling they would not have if it were a white person there doing the exact same thing. A quick count of arrests and shootings would make it clear that it is the black folks, not the white ones, who have cause to be afraid.

Trump Voters Driven by Fear of Losing Status, Not Economic Anxiety, Study FindsNiraj Chokshi | The New York Times

“It’s much more of a symbolic threat that people feel,’’ said Diana C. Mutz, the author of the study and a political science and communications professor at the University of Pennsylvania, where she directs the Institute for the Study of Citizens and Politics. “It’s not a threat to their own economic well-being; it’s a threat to their group’s dominance in our country over all.”

The arc of white supremacy’s history in America — Fred Hiatt | The Washington Post

Montgomery, Ala. • In the Riverfront Park of this state capital, you will find a series of panels depicting the city’s history. They will tell you when the first white settler arrived, how riverboats transformed Montgomery into a trading hub for cotton “and many other important commodities,” and how the city became the cradle of the Confederacy. They will not tell you that the most important of those other commodities was human beings.

‘How many names?’ — With seven police shootings this year, Salt Lake County is on pace for a record high in use of lethal force — Paighten Harkins | The Salt Lake Tribune

Of the seven shootings this year, in a county that identifies as 72 percent white, at least four involved people of color. Three of those people died, while a teenager described as Latino was critically injured.

Nashville Waffle House suspect arrested — AP | sltrib.com

Police say about 20 people were in the Waffle House at the time of the shootings. They included people of different races and ethnicities, but the four people killed were minorities — three black and one Latino.

A Pennsylvania golf club called the cops on black members for taking too long — Rachel Siegel | The Washington Post

On Saturday morning, the women — who according to local media were experienced golfers and part of a group called Sisters in the Fairway — teed off at Grandview Golf Course in York County. The women told the York Daily Record that they were told by the club’s owners they were not keeping a quick enough pace. The club offered to refund their memberships and then called 911.

Police throw black woman to floor, say they will “break” her arm during arrest at Waffle House — German Lopez | Vox

A new viral video shows police at a Waffle House in Saraland, Ala., throwing a black woman on the ground on Sunday, exposing her breasts and suggesting they might “break” her arm after she didn’t cooperate.

Over-policing in black communities is a Canadian crisis, too — Robyn Maynard | For The Washington Post

While Canada’s global reputation of racial tolerance is a source of national pride, it is accompanied by a reluctance to acknowledge the ongoing injustices faced by black communities here at home.

The Counted: People killed by police in the U.S. — The Guardian

Black teen misses bus, gets shot at after asking for directions — WJBK Detroit

Walker was trying to walk the bus route to Rochester High School after he woke up late and missed his bus. His mom had taken his phone away, so he didn’t have that with him to get directions. So he knocked on a stranger’s door for help — and almost paid for it with his life.

Police shootings and brutality in the US: 9 things you should know — German Lopez | Vox

An analysis of the available FBI data by Vox’s Dara Lind found that U.S. police kill black people at disproportionate rates: Black people accounted for 31 percent of police killing victims in 2012, even though they made up just 13 percent of the U.S. population. Although the data is incomplete because it’s based on voluntary reports from police agencies around the country, it highlights the vast disparities in how police use force.

Fatal police shooting of unarmed black man in Walmart lot ‘massively irresponsible and reckless’: Attorney — ABC News

The family of an unarmed black man who died in a hail of police bullets at a Walmart parking lot is still looking for answers — days after video surfaced that captured the cacophony of gunfire from police officers shooting into the car he was driving.

Sheriff’s Deputy Is Fired After Fatally Shooting Unarmed Man in Houston — New York Times

A sheriff’s deputy who shot and killed an unarmed black man who was acting erratically at a Houston intersection last month has been fired, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office said on Friday. The deputy, Cameron Brewer, who is also black, did not adhere to the department’s policy on use of force when he fatally shot Danny Ray Thomas, 34, on March 22, the agency said in a statement.

Not everyone agrees:

Police Violence Against Black Men Is Rare — Philippe Lemoine | National Review

The media’s acceptance of the false narrative poisons the relations between law enforcement and black communities throughout the country and results in violent protests that destroy property and sometimes even claim lives.

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