A black gentleman from Akron purportedly claims to be more fearful of seeing several black teens walking toward him than if they were white teens.
Who am I to question another man's phobias? They're real, but unworthy of imitation.
In another context the same man might be even more scared by a group of white teens walking toward him . . . say, in a small, white town in the Deep South. The point is that our personal fears constitute relative truths and no more.
Some say all stereotypes have a grain of truth in them, but don't we all have more than a grain of sinner in us? Who wants to be judged by that grain?
Personally, when I see a muscular black male teen walking toward me I usually give him a hug. He's my oldest son - Luke. Luke's about as nice a teenage boy as you could want to meet (and don't trust me because I'm obviously biased).
Nevertheless, according to FBI crime statistics, on American streets (as seen on American TV) Caucasians are 20 times as likely to be the victims of a ''black on white crime'' than the other way around.
Still, society's current reality (and TV) can inflict a psychological injury against our higher purpose in human unity. Such racial injuries often fester for decades and later surface as racial prejudices and ''there is no end in sight'' says the devil (since ''fear'' attracts much better media ratings than ''unity'').
Then again, FBI statistics do not address bias in crime statistics. Truly, statistics don't lie, but those gathering statistics can be easily compelled.
Also, lopsided crime statistics may have something to do with the socioeconomic demographics of who's hanging around on street corners late at night rather than black and white genetics.
Please don't get me wrong. Poverty is never a good excuse for anyone to do wrong to another human being. However, there are reasons to question strong conclusions about genetic truths based merely on crime statistics.
Closer to home, let's look into recent crime statistics in Trumbull County. According to the fastidious records of Trumbull County Coroner Dr. Humphrey Germaniuk, 245 out of 271 fatal heroin overdoses in Trumbull County in 2013 were Caucasians. And everybody knows heroin addicts will steal anything for a quick buck and a bindle of heroin.
Analyzing data from a readily available Web site on registered sex offenders in Trumbull County, 33 out of 223 registered sex offenders are black while the rest are white.
Furthermore, in recent years Trumbull County has been marred by several heinous crimes committed by whites: the Beemers' unconscionable rape at Children's Services, the monstrous Louis Mann murder of his parents, Thomas Starr's bizarre stabbing of his mother and murder of his stepfather, and finally the holiday sibling murder by Bradley Milligan.
Truth be told, reality and crime statistics in Trumbull County don't have too much to say about race.
All I'm suggesting is the next time a new family moves next door to us we should do our best to be colorblind, because when we look into the sick minds of criminals in our area, there appears to be no discrimination.
All in all, crime in America is enough to dampen one's faith in humanity, except for the universal bond we all share in our souls; we share one spiritual Father in heaven.
Human nature (both material and spiritual) transcends notions of race and offers each individual a moral choice or a duality. This is why we must seek the better side in our dual nature; our innate selfishness competes for our souls. Beware the nasty stuff in the news and on TV and radio programs because it is not feeding our higher nature.
Ironically, whenever I think about ''feeding'' and our ''higher nature,'' eating at The Hot Dog Shoppe comes to mind. There is but one class of hot dog-eating people from the greater Mahoning Valley. The mixture of happy, local people in that humble, little restaurant is truly a beautiful sight.
At The Hot Dog Shoppe there is no rich or poor man, no race, no political divide, no religious confusion, and no nonsense. Clearly these people are serving more than dogs and fries, and I honor them for it.
In reality, the world would be a much better place if everybody everywhere imitated The Hot Dog Shoppe's colorblind artistry.
Herman is a resident of Warren.