It is far too often that we see African Americans murdered by police. As a result, these injustices continue to exist as many turn a blind eye. Today, we can no longer ignore . As crimes of police brutality continue to surface through live footage, people nationwide are coming together to
Let me start by saying when George Floyd a regular at the Cup Foods grocery store, was approached by police at gunpoint as he sat in his car, I was outraged. Videos have since surfaced showing him pinned down by three officers while pleading for his life. As I looked down at my iPhone, I was overcome with emotions. I was angry at the clerk for involving the police. I was angry at the officers that helped restrain Floyd. It seemed to me like there was this presumption of guilt because of his blackness. Did anyone think to ask Floyd about the $20 counterfeit? He may not have known it was a fake.
It gets worse. Then there’s Amy Cooper, the woman who called the police on a black man in Central Park during an encounter involving her unleashed dog. Christian Cooper—Harvard graduate, a bird watcher, already knowing what time it is in America recorded their encounter. Amy didn’t like being told what to do by a black man so she pulled out her phone and told 911 that an African American man was threatening her life. She intentionally used trigger words for police violence and she knew how to do it without having to think. We’ve heard about things like this happening but no one had ever seen it. Now it was out in the open for everyone to see a white woman using her white privilege to threaten a black mans life.
The reason racism thrives is because of collective silence.
‘Shoot first and ask later,’ is exactly what three white men did when they suspected Ahmaud Arbery, 25, of a series of local-break-ins. If we want to know why racial profiling continues, simple, they do it because they know they can. And although some people may find it shocking to believe that racism still exists, I’m thankful for the many videos that are surfacing up on social media sites and going viral; they offer us an opportunity to talk candidly about these issues. These videos are allowing people across nations to see the injustices that are being done to African Americans concerning police brutality.If we choose to remain silent we’re just as guilty.
“This is not about voting versus protesting, this is not a neither or, this is a both/and. To bring out real change, we both have to highlight a problem and make people in power uncomfortable.”Barack Obama
Now here we are, thirty years later after the beating of Rodney King still dealing with issues that should have ended years ago. Amid the protesting, this is what America’s first black president had to say, “This is not about voting versus protesting, this is not a neither or, this is a both/and. To bring out real change, we both have to highlight a problem and make people in power uncomfortable.” Unfortunately, racism is not going to go away overnight but if we vote/protest we can get policies around policing to change.
For instance, we need to track the problem. There is a national clearinghouse for data on police killings or police use of force. Private nonprofit groups need to keep their own database. We know that officers take on the oath to protect and serve the communities they work in and that’s why it critical to have an officer misconduct registry to weed out bad cops and to make sure they don’t get their jobs back.
Second, we need to stop police departments from using gear from the U.S military. Such as grenades launchers, tear gasses, and anything else military that can be used against American civilians.
Third, we need to invest in communities with social welfare programs. Researchers found that a greater number of nonprofit organizations were linked to a decline in crime. They found that when police are the first to respond to someone with mental issues some evidence suggests that as many asby police were mentally ill.
So when you see people coming together protesting “Black Lives Matter” while still in a pandemic you have to understand the behind it. We’re at a point in time where the majority of Americans are tired of the long history of institutionalized racism. We want to see law enforcement do better. We want America to do better.
Please comment to let me know your thoughts on the matter.