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Letter: Police and race: a complex backstory

Shykeim Terry is charged with trying to rape

Shykeim Terry is charged with trying to rape a woman inside a Bronx apartment building on June 8, 2016, police said. Credit: iStock

Cops are no more or less racist than the rest of us. While there is a discrepancy with how people of color are treated by societal institutions, it’s more complicated that a sound bite [“Backing the blue line,” News, Aug. 21].

Cops are not social workers; they are not sociologists doing on-the-spot analysis of generations of oppression and mistreatment. They are there to keep order and promote civility. They cannot be solely blamed for the historical results of the improper, and sometimes immoral, allocation of economic, social, legal and educational resources in communities of color.

Although I respect some the underlying principles of the Black Lives Matter movement, and I understand that it stems from serious incidents that highlight questionable police responses, I hope that the movement changes course to focus on systemic forces that discount communities of color.

No one is asking that the rules for personal responsibility be changed, but we as a society must include an understanding and respect for the distant and not-so-distant history, and some of the realities left in their wake.

The discrepancies in public schools have not historically served minority populations well. Yet, as a teacher in New York City public schools, I am not being called racist.

Eileen Duffy Doyle, Manhasset


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