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I am grateful that Marco Rubio is addressing these issues with empathetic and insightful articulation:

 


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4 thoughts on “Marco Rubio Addresses Issues of Race and Justice and Black Lives Matter”

  1. Hugh McCann says:

    Strange that both the N.Y. Post (D. Murdock, 11/06/15) – “Black Lives Matter’s Numbers are Bogus”
    and the Wall St. Journal (H. MacDonald, 02/11/16) – “The Myths of Black Lives Matter”
    have both exposed the falsehoods.

    1. Kelvin Smith says:

      It’s one thing to note, as McDonald did, that the idea of an open season on black males is overstated. It’s another thing to deny that blacks experience different treatment from police. Many middle-class blacks describe unwarranted stops by police (like Rubio describes); that kind of thing is utterly foreign to my experience as a white man, and I can’t think of any white friends that it’s happened to. The Washington Post did a careful article (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2014/09/03/how-st-louis-county-missouri-profits-from-poverty) detailing the petty indignities black citizens face in the Ferguson, MO, area, a lot of which strikes me as an arrogant government preying on the powerless (in many towns in the area, 20% or more of the municipal budget comes from fines!)–that should be an issue where limited-government conservatives can make common cause with the black community. We need to listen to those whose experience of life is different, not automatically assume that their perspective is warped. And even if they or their neighbors share in the responsibility for some of the things that happen, is that a reason to dismiss them completely? Is it really OK when police shoot down a 12-year-old boy with a pellet gun literally 2 seconds after arriving (as shown on video), without asking him to drop it? Do you really think they would have done that if Tamir Rice had been white?

      We don’t have to affirm the falsehoods to recognize that there is a real problem that needs to be addressed. I’m glad that Rubio is sensitive to that, and hope that he builds on this. Republicans shouldn’t write off entire ethnic groups; it’s not healthy for either party, the ethnic group, or the wider society. But to speak meaningfully to them, we have to listen to them as well.

  2. Thomas says:

    Very grateful for Senator Rubio’s wise sensitivity on these troublingly complex issues.

  3. Vynnie says:

    I am not a Rubio supporter. (Still undecided.) But I appreciate that he voiced empathy & some understanding of the main grievance behind the movement. That there is a presumption of suspicion against black males that effects policing & the courts is not something we merely imagine. (Walk a mile in my shoes or live a year in my skin & you’ll know what we’re talking about. I am a law-abiding, God fearing, gainfully employed, upstanding citizen with a masters degree who still experiences this type of bias.) This suspicious attitude contributes to heavier handed policing, sentencing & a quicker trigger finger.

    Sen. Rubio’s acknowledgement is sadly, atypical among his Republican cohorts. The 2 clips shown right before his interview revealed that. Both candidates ignored the issue of (apparent) bias in law-enforcement, treating it like a non-issue that doesn’t merit an answer. Sen. Rubio, to his credit, repeated that “this is a legitimate issue.”

    Megan Kelly’s question to Ms. Fiorina presented a false dichotomy that misrepresents the pain that many Americans are feeling: “Do black lives matter or do all lives matter…?” It’s not a zero-sum gain. Acknowledging that Black lives matter does not mean that other lives matter less. Picture a child who falls & bruises her knee. She runs crying to her parent for care & comfort. Her parent’s attention at that moment does not diminish his/her love for the other children. It’s not “either/or.” And framing it that way might suggest that Ms. Kelly doesn’t get it.

    The interviewer’s not understanding what these “protesters want -other than capturing the spotlight” also reveals a degree of “not getting it” (at best). Worse, it can been seen by some as an attempt to de-legitimize or minimize the grievance. (FOX is not above such things.) Here too, Rubio acknowledges the protestors’ “right to talk about this.”

    That’s important. If people are in pain & all they can say is “ouch”, are they less deserving of empathy, respect & care than those with an agenda ready?

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Justin Taylor, PhD


Justin Taylor is executive vice president of book publishing and book publisher for Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds. You can follow him on Twitter.

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