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Urban Studies 2017: Student Blog 1

Every year, Civitas asks for students to share their thoughts during Go-Team. We’re going to compile what we get and share them in our blog online. Here are some thoughts from Reece about Urban Go-Team Day 1.

Visiting the Creve Coeur Police Department, was an enlightening experience. As a black youth, one unfortunately has to be aware of certain hard racial truths in America. This has been especially true for me, living so close to Ferguson and having my own experiences with police. But what you learn after spending an afternoon with police officers, and it may sound cliche, but they’re people too. I came out understanding that while there are some serious institutional problems with policing, it’s not necessarily fair to view police as a monolith. They have biases that are implicit, and so do many black Americans. This leads to stereotyping and increased defensiveness on both sides, so it’s important to make an effort to communicate. I had to confront my own prejudices to learn, and I’d like to think the police also learned. Of course I still believe Black Lives Matter, and I have a healthy skepticism of police departments generally speaking, but I have a new found empathy for people who serve in law enforcement.

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