Here is the text of a message I sent to Howard Bryant of ESPN.com, commenting upon an article in which Mr. Bryant endorsed the “don’t shoot” gestures made recently by five professional football players:
Dear Mr. Bryant,
This is in response to your ESPN piece about the St. Louis Five (the Rams players who made a coordinated physical gesture in response to the Grand Jury’s decision not to indict the policeman who killed a black civilian in Ferguson, MO). The unspoken premise of your article (especially the sub-headline) is that the Grand Jury’s decision was an injustice, that the cop should have been indicted, and that the reason he was not indicted is that he is white and the victim was black. The rest of your piece makes little sense without that premise.
I am not sure how you know that the decision was unjust, as you make no reference to any facts supporting your opinion. Unless you are aware of any facts that were not presented to the Grand Jury for its consideration, I see only one possible basis for your position. You refer to white bigotry and racism as though they were the cause of the decision, as though the decision would have been different had blacks constituted a majority of the members of the Grand Jury – so that they could have voted for indictment. In short, your view appears to be that the only way a white cop can be indicted for killing a black civilian is to have a Grand Jury dominated by blacks. In even more simplistic terms, you are saying that the law and the facts are irrelevant, that the American justice system functions solely on the basis of race, rather than on the basis of the law and the evidence.
If you think the present state of race relations and of the judicial system in America is that warped and biased, then you are never going to be satisfied until either blacks represent a majority of the population or blacks are in control of the White House and Congress and the judiciary. If you are really that far gone, I see no point in trying to discuss the matter with you.
Mr. Bryant has not responded to my message.