MLK, 50 years later: any progress?

This week on The Broad Perspective Greg and I talk about progress in race relations over the last 50 years.    Some days it seems like we have come a long way and then I turn on the TV and  there is another police shooting of a black man or I read about some statistic that says we haven’t come very far at all.    I’d like to think that in California (where I live) there is has been a great deal of progress but clearly this the case everywhere.  Even here things happen that make me scratch my head and go, “huh”?.. Kevin is a brilliant young man who frequently records on the Broad Perspective. He brings a fresh perspective to our show.  Recently he  (and his dogs) was visiting my home and he took them our for a walk.  We are semi-rural with a sparse spattering of homes.  One of my neighbors asked him what he was doing in our neighborhood and he replied “talking my dogs for a walk”.  The neighbor called the police.  Kevin is black.  Would he have called the police if he has been a white male walking his dogs?  I don’t think so, and times like this make me think that we haven’t come very far at all.   One step forward and two steps back.

Female prisoners in Japan

This weeks show was a real eye opener.  So sad that elderly women have to resort to committing a crime in order to have a roof over their head and food to eat.  But how far behind are we here in the US?  I am guessing but I think the cost of housing them in prison would be much higher than a stipend from the government to cover their basic needs.  Then again, I could be wrong. My other question is where are the families’ of these women?   Is there no family member that can help them?  Then again I look at our situation here in the US and would ask that same question.  Where are the families of all the homeless people?  I guess none of these dilemmas have a simple answer.    In my admittedly  judgmental observation, we Americans seem to be quick to farm out our family members to institutions and the care of others, expecting someone else to take care of them.  Granted there are times where it is warranted, but I think frequently it is just “easier”.    Life isn’t easy.    I think taking care of our own is our responsibility.