Blacks and police far apart on key issues
FOR JIM KENNEY, the first white mayor to helm the majority-non-white city of Philadelphia in 16 years, the central conflict of his first term was revealed in two sentences he uttered during his inauguration speech.
“We will have to all put aside our differences and acknowledge two things,” he said. “That black lives do matter, and that the overwhelming majority of our police are decent, hardworking public servants who risk their lives every day.”
The lines drew applause as Kenney’s pointed words floated along the divide between a police department on the defensive, and a black community grieving the police shootings of unarmed African-Americans nationwide.
But Kenney must know we can’t simply put aside our differences. We’re too far apart now.
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Photo: Community members gather at Minneapolis City Hall on December 3, 2015, after police tear down demonstrators’ encampment at the Minneapolis Police Department’s 4th Precinct following 18 days of occupation, demanding justice for Jamar Clark. Tony Webster / Flickr Creative Commons
Solomon Jones is an Essence bestselling author and award-winning columnist. He is the creator and editor of Solomonjones.com and morning host on 900 am WURD radio. Click here to learn more about Solomon.