Columnist: Is America on the brink of a civil war between blacks and whites?

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 12, 2016

By Glenn Dowell

Contributing columnist

Walk any day into a mall, shopping center, movie theater or restaurant and you will witness the impact that the passage of various civil rights legislation in the 1960s now has in every aspect of our lives.

I dare you to visit any of these places and not see firsthand the impact of integration. Black and white boys and men of all ages appear to be in some type of intimate or close relationship visiting the centers and these places with persons of another race or color.

The media even appears to go to great lengths to broadcast and feature these types of relationships to corroborate how far the United States has come since the era of segregation. We see movie stars and celebrities on television and on the big screen involved in interracial relationships that oftentimes result in marriage.

Some movie stars and celebrities involved in “same race” relationships go to great lengths, including being criticized to actually adopt children from different cultures and races. The most famous of these couples is Brad Pitts and Angelina Jolie.

Is this miscegenation issue driving our country to the brink of a potential civil war between blacks and whites?

What we forget is that the issue of miscegenation was a topic of great concern among the many ministers and whites who marched alongside Dr. King during the civil rights movement. He went to great lengths to persuade these supporters that the movement was about equal rights for blacks under our Constitution, and not to marry their daughters or sons.

The governor of Maine recently seemed to be preoccupied with the issue of miscegenation when he blamed blacks for coming into his state and impregnating their women and leaving their children to be a burden of the state.

The idea of a civil war sounds ridiculous? I hope so. The reality, however, is that survivalists and hate groups want that time to come immediately. It is without a doubt that these groups truly are arming themselves for a potential civil war, not between the states this time, but between the races.

It is a subject and conversation that is going on in homes across America. This issue has even surfaced in the current presidential election. A recent poll revealed that 20 percent of the supporters of presidential front runner Donald Trump believe that blacks should not have been freed as slaves after the civil war.

Many young blacks also believe that a civil war between blacks and whites will occur in the country. Remember the Black Panthers? They positioned themselves in the ’60s as an alternative to turning the other cheek to your enemy, which was the foundation of Dr. Martin Luther King’s nonviolent movement.

Well, there is a renewed interest in the Black Panther party among black youth. Their philosophy: “This is not your mama’s and daddy’s civil rights movement.”

Many of these youth are from dysfunctional families and began to believe too early in their lives, after taking an audit of their social economic condition, that they’re going nowhere fast. For them, achieving the American dream is as likely as their winning the lottery.

Feeling trapped and desperate with their individual circumstances, they often lose their sense of conscience and shame, essential for having sympathy and empathy for others. Young black men who subscribe to an eventual civil war between the races are not afraid of whites or the police. Disrespecting them can have deadly consequences for themselves and the offender.

The offender for them is often the police, whom they hold in contempt. They believe that they are actually targeted for harassment by law enforcement. The increased tensions between law enforcement and the black community and the killing of black men and women around the country with impunity is clear evidence for them to be suspicious of the justice system.

Virtually every black parent in the country seem to be concerned about what appears to be increase racial tensions in the United States. The subject was even a source of discussion and featured on a popular weekly, black television network series.

The subject was addressed because successful blacks are seeing themselves frequently targeted for harassment and racial profiling as well by law enforcement. The classic example was when on July 16, 2009, Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. was arrested at his Cambridge, Massachusetts, home by local police officer Sgt. James Crowley, who was responding to a 911 caller’s report of men breaking and entering the residence. The unwarranted arrest initiated a series of events that unfolded under the spotlight of the international news media.

It is a shame that “race” has reared its ugly head again in the 21st century. Are race relations, however, so fragile as to cause a war between whites and blacks?

You be the judge.

Glenn Dowell is an author and LaGrange native who currently lives in Jonesboro. He may be reached at