Can I be Your Neighbor?

Can I be Your Neighbor?

Jay Harold once asked a co-worker in Las Vegas this question, “If he lived 50 miles outside of Vegas, would Jay Harold be a suspect in every crime committed in the area?” The co-worker was from Pahrump, Nevada, the home of several legal brothels. He said Jay Harold would be watched closely for any criminal activity. Even in a land of prostitutes, the mob, and numerous shady characters, Jay Harold is a prime suspect.

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Jay Harold appreciated the candor of the co-worker. Nevada has a population of about 2.8 million people in 2013, according to the United States Census. About nine percent of this population were black. Pahrump had a population of about 36,000 in 2010, of which 2.1 percent were African Americans. My question to the co-worker is: “Why the focus on black people when they are such a small percentage of the population?”

Am I Always a Suspect?

Incidents like this one have happened to Jay Harold before. He moved to a very nice suburb of Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1999 to start a new job. The

Can I be Your Neighbor?

Very few African-Americans are looking for trouble; they are just trying to survive.

people were very nice and friendly. When the snow cleared, and it got warm enough to going bike riding, Jay Harold started riding his bicycle through the neighborhood.One day, Jay Harold was riding around noon and saw a lady in her backyard staring at him. She quickly went into the house and closed the door. The first thought that can to mind was that the police will be here soon.  Five minutes are so later, here comes the police. He politely asked for ID, which Jay Harold had, and said Jay Harold was new to the area.  Is this Mississippi, Alabama or Louisiana? Some people would say this is a rare incident, and Jay Harold is drawing unfair conclusions.

Minnesota had a population of 4.9 million in 2000, of which 3.5 percent were black. Minnesota is a very good place to live overall. The question has to be asked, “Why are some people so afraid of black people?”  Do you think most of the crime in the United States are committed by African Americans? A review of nationwide crime stats is in order.

I’m not looking for Trouble!

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the United States leading law enforcement agency. There report,  Crime in the U.S. is the most comprehensive analysis of violent crime and property crime in the nation. The annual publication compiles volume and rate of crime offenses for the nation, the states, and many cities and counties. In the 2013 report, Table 43 shows arrests by race. Highlights Include:

  • In 2013, 68.9 percent of all individuals arrested were white, 28.3 percent were black, and 2.9 percent were of other races.
  • Of all juveniles (persons under the age of 18) arrested in 2013, 63.0 percent were white, 34.4 percent were black, and 2.7 percent were of other races.
  • White individuals were arrested more often for violent crimes than individuals of any other race and accounted for 58.4 percent of those arrests.
  • Of adults arrested for murder, 52.1 percent were black, and 45.5 percent were white.
  • Black juveniles comprised 53.3 percent of all juveniles arrested for violent crimes. White juveniles accounted for 59.7 percent of all juveniles arrested for property crimes.

The facts speak for themselves.

America is becoming a better place for minorities, Jay Harold believes. We have come a long way from the first time Blacks and Whites took showers together after 8th grade football practice.  About 30% of the team were Black and when everyone finished showering; one person said to Jay Harold, “You don’t have a Tail?” The year was 1974 and in 2015, Jay Harold has come a long way.  A quote by Gil Scott-Heron summaries Jay Harold’s feelings: “I’ve always had questions about what it meant to be a protester, to be in the minority. Are the people who are trying to find peace, who are trying to have the Constitution apply to everybody, are they really the radicals? We’re not protesting from the outside. We’re inside.”

Play the free  “Slow Roll Through Civil Rights” Game found on the Jay Harold website. Enjoyed this post? Share it and read more here.

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