All of the talk recently about reforming police misses a huge point: Even if policing in America were perfect, with no racist police, and perfect justice for all races, we would still have serious, systemic racism in America.
In small towns all across America, and rural America, one can live her/his entire life and never once interact with a person of color. One powerful way to overcome this is to institute two years mandatory national service, not necessarily military, for every boy and girl upon high school graduation. African Americans constitute approximately 40% of personnel in the U.S. military, which is about three times the fraction of those in the U.S. The U.S. military is the most egalitarian, integrated institution we have. It provides an environment that necessitates a mixing of all races, cultures and social strata. Such a scenario could be replicated across our population with mandatory national service.
The above would be a gargantuan undertaking, but skirting around, trying to fix our systemic racism by addressing our police will not solve it. How on earth would a Kansas farm boy ever get to know a Black kid, or Jewish kid or Native American kid?
If ever there was a time for bold action by the U.S. Congress, this is it. Unfortunately, I don’t think we have a Congress with the spine to try something so bold.