Leonard Pitts is in serious need of tough love, because he continues to take the “woe is me” too far.
This Philando Castile incident (“Must black death be broadcast, consumed to be believed?” June 24) was originally portrayed as how cops are cruel to blacks and will shoot them on a whim. But the dashcam video shows that the officer was courteous and helpful toward Castile as he explained the taillight problem. No animosity, no racial disdain. The tension came only from the presence of a gun.
All gun owners know that to prevent any tragic misunderstandings, you should place your hands on the steering wheel when announcing your gun. Castile didn’t do this, and it confused the officer. A tragic situation, but the outcome is not too surprising. A jury agreed the officer did not act criminally.
Thus this incident only has lessons for gun owners. (White gun owners, too, will be rehearsing how to act around police.) It has no wider implications for blacks. But Pitts goes through contortions to make this all about race, injecting historical drama, and he wrecks himself psychologically. Unfortunately, he brings other blacks down with him. A clear reading of the incident from someone who loves him is what is needed.
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Ed White, San Luis Obispo