Letter: Backing the blue but being honest about discrimination

To the Editor:

In reaction to remarks from "Back the Blue" organizer in McHenry saying there was no systemic racism, I believe that you can say that with authority if you are born Black. Most of us so-called white folks have no idea what it is like to have our car stopped simply because of the color of our skin.

We simply do not understand what it is to be told we looked "suspicious" because we were Black in a so-called "white neighborhood."

In my 30 years of interacting with police officers in both Illinois and Wisconsin as a search dog handler, I grant you that such interactions have all been good. However, I would be sounding like Little Mary Sunshine to say that systemic racism does not exist - even though I have never encountered it first hand.

To me, 99% of police ARE good, caring people, fine officers in every way. But you would have to be blind to ignore that there are some bad cops that do exist.

Black Lives Matter - yes they do indeed - and one foot stands firmly in that camp. However, the other shoe must indeed stand in the camp of Back the Blue. I do believe that is where many of us stand, not only me.

Patti Gibson

Crystal Lake