America is in a quandary! I was born and raised in the South, moving from the country to the town of Decatur, Alabama when I was twelve-years-old. I move to Wisconsin in 1966, America was still in turmoil.
My thoughts recently have been on the 1950’s growing up as a teenager in Decatur, going to Decatur High School. My mind focusing on those seventy years ago is still clear, and the atrocities that are going on today, the times are being recreated.
Of course today’s mayhem dates back to March 3, 1991. Rodney King faced police brutality. This skyrocket police brutality, a scandal that most Americans condemned, police forces grew and evolved. In the 1950s, the police were looked on both favorably and unfavorably by various segments of the population.
Police brutality as a societal issue dates all the way back to the Industrial Revolution in the 1870s when law enforcement would physically harm workers that went on strike. The consequences of police brutality on the public are much less than the actual victim. However, damages to the public are harder to fix since the population is too large to talk to one-on-one.
Throughout the years, police brutality can be associated with racial profiling. Differences in race, religion, politics, sometimes exist between police and American citizens. Some police officers may view them as generally deserving punishment.
However, there are “GOOD” police officers in America and these police officers enjoyed wide support. It did in 1950 and it does today in 2020. In America in 1950, there was good faith in all levels of government. Nevertheless, we were pummeled with Vietnam, Watergate and other events helped erode their trust. Generally, citizens in the suburbs and middle- or upper-class white citizens in the cities regarded the police favorably.
However, the 1950s also saw great conflict. Communities strongly resented the police in the 1950s. In the South, citizens resented police for their physical brutality and abuse of power. They also mistrusted the police as a protective institution. In the 1950s, In Decatur, Alabama, my “home town”, police forces were mostly white and male. In certain ways, the police were regarded as more powerful in the 1950s and 1960’s.
I am not proud to be a Southerner in those days; I was a “kid” and many things I did not understand. The things that I did understand were mind blowing. I grew to know that my mother was a racist, so was my older sister though behind a mask of lies. My daddy was never a racist and knew discrimination first hand, as have I, he always spoke the truth. They are no longer with us, and I still grieve for them, loving them as they were, was my only way to survive. However, I am proud that I was raised by my daddy and bought up in the Native American traditions of my daddy’s people.
What is going on today in America…I am ashamed of the entire country, I pray that it finds its way back.
However, other than the first hand knowledge about government control and family…all of this is just my opinion!