Sandra Bland and Race in General

The controversy over the death of a young woman named Sandra Bland in the Waller County, Texas jail concerns me greatly. You see, Waller County and the town of Hempstead is only about an hour’s drive from our home. My wife was living off of Texas 290 a few miles southeast of there when we met. She enjoyed the drive to Hempstead and after we met, she took me out there to visit an open-air market. We’ve been there a number of times since then. Hempstead is a typical small Southern town with a diverse residency. Just east of town, which lies just under 50 miles northwest of downtown Houston, is Prairie View A&M University, a historically black school that is part of the Texas A&M system. Sandra Bland, a Chicago-area native, graduated from Prairie View in 2009. She returned to Texas in July of this year to interview for a job with a connection to the school. On the afternoon of July 10 she was pulled over by Texas State Trooper Brian T. Encinia for failing to signal a lane change. The complete dashcam video of the incident is available and it shows beyond a doubt that Ms. Bland failed to signal. It also shows that she failed to stop at a stop sign when she was pulling onto the road where she was pulled over. Trooper Encinia pulled her over with, as he stated, the intention of giving her a warning. He was courteous and attentive, and noticed that Ms. Bland seemed to be agitated. When he went back to her car to give her the warning, Ms. Bland became visibly upset and started berating the trooper after he told her to put out a cigarette. She mouthed off and he told her she was under arrest and to get out of the car, but she refused. He opened the door and threatened to pull her out then pulled out his taser and told her he was going to “light you up” at which point she got out of the car. He directed her to the side of the road where he apparently attempted to handcuff her. Ms. Bland fought him until another officer, a black female, arrived and helped Trooper Encinia subdue her. She was then transported to the Waller County jail in Hempstead where she was booked for assaulting an officer of the law and went before a judge who set bail at $5,000. The following Monday morning she was discovered dead in her cell, after strangling herself using a plastic trash can liner. Two woman in the cell next to her said that she seemed despondent and they heard no struggle or anything from Bland’s cell to indicate  that anyone was trying to harm her. They said that she was very emotional and was An autopsy performed by the Harris County pathologist found that the marks on her neck were consistent with a suicide.

Now, there were no racial overtones in this case – until black activists and members of the media invented them. The facts of the case are out there. Granted, the officer became upset when she verbally assaulted him, which is normal. However, the arrest is not the issue. The issue is that black activists and members of her family, including an attorney they hired, claimed that her death was not a suicide but that someone murdered her. There were claims that Waller County is “the most racist county in Texas” and other such proclamations by people who have never set foot in the place and by certain black agitators, particularly one Quanell X, a Black Muslim who misses no opportunity to get before the television cameras. In short order, a tragedy became a national issue as members of the black press and others ranted about how Ms. Bland had not committed suicide and the real cause of her death was being covered up.

Actually, it is not surprising that certain people decided to make Sandra Bland’s suicide a racial issue. After all, that is what they do. It started with the death of Trayvon Martin in Florida, when he was shot by a mixed-race neighbor of his father, whom he was visiting, after he apparently attacked the man and somehow knocked him to the ground. Witnesses told police that Martin was on top of George Zimmerman when he was shot. Local authorities determined that there was no reason to charge Zimmerman in a case that witnesses said was self-defense. However, the family hired a lawyer and began a national campaign to have Zimmerman arrested, tried and convicted. The Florida governor got into the act an appointed a politically ambitious district attorney from out of the area as a special prosecutor. Instead or presenting evidence to a grand jury, she decided she would indict Zimmerman herself. The case went to trial and the jury found that the evidence indicated that Zimmerman had acted in self-defense. Martin’s family and their lawyer caused millions to be spent on an investigation and trial and ruined Zimmerman’s life. Then there was the Michael Brown incident in Ferguson, Missouri. Brown, who was found to have been high on pot at the time, attacked a young police officer who shot and killed him. A grand jury and the FBI investigated the case and found that there was no evidence to indict the police officer, although he resigned from the Ferguson police department and left the area. Then there was the case in Baltimore where a young black man was arrested and died in a police transport (driven by a black officer.) There were also a couple of cases in New York where black men died in altercations with police. (Actually, black men die in altercations with police practically every day but only a handful of the cases attract national attention.)

Believe it or not, race has become an industry. Dozens of black journalists and media figures devote their full energies to racial issues – and little else. Organizations such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, which was started by white political progressives in the Northeast, and the Southern Poverty Law Center exist solely for the perpetration of issues pertaining to race as does the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the B’Nai B’rith and the Jewish Defense League. Take away race and these organization’s reason for existence vanishes, thus it is in their best interests to keep racial issues alive, even if they have to invent them. Each of these organizations takes in millions of dollars each year in dues, grants and donations. The NAACP collects close to $9 million  a year in dues from its members, not to mention the millions it generates through donations. It’s no wonder that they seek to keep the issue of race alive.

When it comes to blacks, there has been a concerted effort since early in the Twentieth Century to convince young blacks people that all of their problems are caused by whites. The Nation of Islam, which was founded by a mysterious white man who was last heard from in 1934, teaches that the human race was originally black until an evil scientist started breeding out the blackness and created a race of whites, an evil race. People such as Quanell X teach this to impressionable young blacks in urban areas such as Chicago, Detroit and Houston.  They hold that whites brought blacks to America as slaves without acknowledging that the people who went out into the African interior and captured the tribesmen who were then sold to masters of slave ships were themselves African. To do so would take away from their philosophy of blaming whites for everything. The story of the Atlantic slave trade glosses over the fact that it was Hispanics who started it, Spaniards and Portuguese who needed laborers for their sugar plantations in the Caribbean and South America. Black activists – and many whites in the North – blame slavery on the Southern cotton planters, whose dependence on slavery was confined to a period of roughly half a century after the cotton gin was invented and a market for American cotton developed both in England and New England. They also conveniently leave out that slavery was legal in all of the northern states except Rhode Island and that slave owners in the North took their slaves to the South and sold them when their states abolished slavery. They act as if modern Americans, or our immediate ancestors at least, owned slaves when in fact slavery was abolished 150 years or almost four generations ago. Not a single white (or black) person has owned another person in America since 1865.The slave-owning ancestors of the oldest Americans living today would  be great-great grandparents. Incidentally, some of those slave-owning ancestors had African blood, and not all of it was due to masters having children with slave women. Many blacks, particularly in Louisiana and South Carolina, owned slaves. Some of them owned large numbers of slaves.

There is only one way to do away with racial issues and that is to forget about race. So what that Africans were brought to America as slaves? Tens of thousands of Africans died of disease and in tribal wars during that same period. In fact, the descendants of those slaves are better off in most respects than modern Africans. There’s a good reason that so many Africans today seek new lives elsewhere, particularly in Europe. Africa is still plagued by disease such as AIDS and Ebola while war between rival warlords and political factions is constant. Slavery is still practiced in Africa and in coastal Africa, piracy is rampant. South Africa has the highest murder rate in the world. As far as American negroes are concerned – their only connection to Africa is that some of their ancestors were brought to America, or came voluntarily, some 400 years ago – they need to stop thinking of themselves as African-Americans but as Americans. Booker T. Washington believed that the only way negroes could become productive citizens was through education and that integration should be gradual to avoid problems with whites. He was opposed by W.E.B. Du Bois, who believed in political power. While Washington was from the South and had been born into slavery, Dubois was from Massachusetts and wasn’t born until 1868. Dubois eventually became a socialist and flirted with communism. Du Bois and other black and white political progressives advocated activism as the vehicle for blacks to attain social equality.  Du Bois eventually prevailed and the NAACP, of which he was a founder, became the primary “voice” for American blacks. Perhaps its time for blacks to return to Booker T. Washington’s philosophy.

According to her mother, Sandra Bland came to Texas with a mission – to stop social injustice in the South. If she truly believed she was on a mission, she must have been confounded when she found herself spending a weekend in jail for an altercation that started because she failed to signal a lane change. (So far, no attention has been paid to her having failed to stop when she pulled out from a side road.) If she believed such a thing, and there is evidence that she did, she may have had a martyr complex. She apparently ranted on social media about injustice, particularly on the part of police against blacks. It turns out that she had a history with police in both her home state of Illinois and Texas, including having pled guilty to drug charges in Texas. At the time of her death, she owed over $7,500 in fines in Illinois – In short, Ms. Bland was not the model citizen her fans have tried to paint her to be.

The most disturbing aspect of the Bland case is that so many were so quick to rush to judgment. Thanks to social media, a movement quickly began to protest her “murder” by “the racists of Waller County.” Never mind that the mayor of Hempstead, where she was held in jail, is black as are at least two members of the city council. Hempstead elected its first black mayor in 1984. One of Waller County’s justices of the peace is a black woman. Yet article after article talked about the “racism” in the county, pointing to how the Waller County sheriff was fired from his job as chief of police “for racism” when in fact the conflict was due to his having used profanity during an arrest which led to a court case back in 2007. One article claims that Waller County was once predominantly black but no mention of this is made in the Handbook of Texas or the Hempstead history. The implication that Sandra Bland’s arrest and subsequent death was all due to racism without offering one shred of proof. I saw Quanell X ranting about how “blacks of Waller County are treated” this week on TV. Actually, Quanell X is from Houston and his pronouncements are just that, pronouncements. Yes, there is a high incident of traffic stops involving blacks but this is due to the large number of black college students at Prairie View.

Yes, the death of Sandra Bland is sad, but in many respects its even sadder at the way her death has been depicted by those who are using it for their own agenda.

Not all blacks are buying the propaganda being put out about how Bland was a victim –

Author: semcgowanjr

I am a native of West Tennessee but have lived in North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina, Delaware, Tennessee, Arkansas, Virginia, Kentucky, Texas and Ohio and now live in Texas near Houston. Twelve years of my life were spent in the Air Force. After leaving the military, I became a professional pilot and worked for two large corporations as a corporate pilot before I took early retirement on December 1, 2000. I went to work for Flight Safety, Texas as a ground school/simulator instructor and worked for a year and a half until I was let go due to downsizing. After leaving FSI, I went back to flying as a contract pilot and aircraft management company pilot until I quit flying in 2010 due to medical issues. I am rated 80% disabled by the VA for Type II diabetes related to herbicide exposure in South Vietnam and other issues. I spend my time writing. My books can be found at

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