Over the past few days, my timeline has been flooded with discussions, videos and articles about the death of Terence Crutcher.
Allegations of racism and accusations of murder almost immediately surrounded Tulsa Police Officer Betty Shelby, the officer who fired the shot that resulted in the death of Mr. Crutcher last Friday.
Repeatedly, I have watched the video of the incident and have been left with many unanswered questions.
What was said between Mr. Crutcher and Officer Shelby?
Why was Mr. Crutcher walking toward his vehicle and away from the police?
Was Mr. Crutcher reaching into an open window of his SUV?
Was Mr. Crutcher high on the PCP that was found inside his vehicle?
The list goes on.
But, while these questions on my list will be important when it comes to the Tulsa Police Department’s ongoing investigation of the shooting, I believe the critical question we should be asking has nothing to do with Mr. Crutcher at all, but rather with the eagerness of Americans to jump to “racism” as a cause without having all the facts.
If we call everything negative that happens between people of different races ‘racism,’ how can we possibly work to eradicate the real racial issues that continue to exist among a minority of Americans?
Since 2014, our nation has been plagued by the inaccurate idea that we are experiencing an epidemic of racially driven police murders.
The Democratic Party, President Obama and even some celebrities have embraced this erroneous idea, which has done little more than further embolden an anti-white, anti-police rhetoric that has only worsened racial tensions across our nation.
Every time we turn around, the death of a black man is attributed to ‘racism’ before important questions have been asked and before relevant evidence is even considered.
I’m sure you remember the childhood tale ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf,’ where a young boy continued to sing out, “Wolf,” despite the fact that no actual wolf was in sight.
After repeatedly coming to aid the boy, the villagers turned and sternly told him “Save your frightened song for when there is really something wrong! Don’t cry ‘wolf’ when there is NO wolf!”
Shouldn’t we be doing the same?
There is no doubt in my mind racism exists in this country, but not every negative interaction between people of different races should automatically be attributed to racism, since the majority of them are likely not caused by racism.
By equating all differences among people to race only, we remove reality and dimension from our world.
Tragedies happen, mistakes happen, unjustified police shootings happen, murders happen, and each of these situations should be handled appropriately for what they are and should not be grouped into one, frequently inaccurate, category.
People are much more complex than the color of their skin and more Americans need to start acknowledging that by independently thinking beyond the rhetoric their hear, by seeking truth and fact and by avoiding the inclination to jump to conclusions.
America would be a much more united country if we did this, and isn’t unity exactly what we, on all sides of the aisle, have been searching for?
• Madison Gesiotto is a conservative writer and commentator who appears on Fox News Channel. She is currently in the final year of pursuing her J.D. at The Michael E. Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University. You can reach her by email at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter: @madisongesiotto.
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