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San Antonio professor says current ‘period of unrest’ is crucial to future of race relations in America

Dr. Carey Latimore reacts to body camera footage of local Black jogger arrest

SAN ANTONIO – The topic of race is a common one among today’s current events. From the recent shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha Wisconsin to a wrongful arrest caught on camera here in San Antonio. Dr. Carey Latimore, a history professor at Trinity University says this period of unrest will be pivotal for race relations in America.

“I think we’re in an interesting period. It’s one in which we’ve had opportunities in the past,” he said.

Latimore sights chances for change after the civil war, during the civil rights movement and in the 90s. “When I was a teenager and we had this period of questioning of what was going on. And then we have this one. So it’s almost like every 20 to 30 years or so lately, we’ve had these periods of unrest. But it seems that there’s a period of step back as well.”

In the latest KSAT Q&A, Latimore reacted to the newly released SAPD body camera footage of a Black jogger being mistaken for a suspect and wrongfully arrested.

“I think the context that we should look at anything in regards to these kinds of issues is the historical context of race. And do people see African-Americans as all looking alike? And then also the context of how quickly a situation can turn into being a person being arrested. And therefore, that person almost being criminalized in a sense, for exercising his or her rights,” Latimore explained.

As a Black man himself, Latimore contested that this is not a rare situation. “These are things that happen daily,” he said.

The Movement: Across the globe people are bringing racism and social justice, which more often surrounds people of color, to the forefront. We’ve seen protests and rallies in every state. Dr. Latimore says that is what makes this moment in time different.

“This one is a much more multi multicultural, multi-ethnic, multiracial grouping of people, young, old, who are rising to say that there is a problem. We need to address it. And yet, at the same time, we see kind of a counter movement that seems to call into question everything that people who are demonstrating are talking about,” he said.

The Divide: Could riots or looting derail the progress of the movement?

Dr. Latimore says there is a history of that and cites the civil rights era. But he says that is a small piece of what’s happening.

“We must be focused on how we as a nation, people of goodwill. The overwhelming majority want positive change to happen,” he said. “It’s not going to happen through [violence]. It’s going to happen when good people of good faith come together and map out actions that are supported by a larger majority of American people and American citizens.”

Watch KSAT Q&A Monday- Friday at 6:30 p.m. and on the Nightbeat.

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