This past week hasn’t been the best for America. And I’m sure that I’m not going to write anything that hasn’t already been said but for the sake of journalism and being a privileged teenager, I’m going to try.
As I’m sure you’re aware, there was two separate shootings in Falcon Heights, Minnesota and Baton Rouge, Louisiana where an African-American male was killed. Later that day, a sniper attacked the police watching over a Black Lives Matter protest with the intent of killing white officers.
I’ve learned over this past school year, thanks to APUSH, American was really built on the foundation of slave labor. It’s not some political opinion, as much as some fact. And unlike Drake famously put it, “Started at the bottom now we here” there has been a growth in passivity towards racial issues.America is more at a “Started at the bottom and lost steam after the civil rights movement”. I don’t want to say that improvements haven’t been made, but just because some things have changed doesn’t give America the right to pat itself on the back and move on.
America seems to be at that boiling point. Fingers are pointed everywhere but little is said in regards to solutions. So here is the point where I scream into the void. And as you know: police violence and racial profiling is not something that I have first hand experience in. But I do understand that there is a school to prison pipeline that is travel far more often by a person of color than by a white person. I do understand that things like what race you are or how “easy” [read: white] your name is to pronounce can affect job offers and earnings. And while none of these things directly lead into the shootings that have happen at a quickening pace, they all help allow a normality of subjecting different races to a inferior quality of life in a place that we like to call “equal”.
Accepting the notion that a sweatshirt on a black teenager was enough to warrant someone dangerous cost Trayvon Martin his life. I don’t know if you’ve seen the video of the shooting in Louisiana but I recommend it if you haven’t. The terror in the police man’s voice in contrast to the women who cannot comfort her dying boyfriend out of fear of being shot herself reveals the terrible truth that this is so common place and many black Americans are living in a world where this is becoming the new normal.
As an Asian women, it almost feels like this is not my domain to talk about. But I feel that this is part of the problem. People don’t feel that it affects them and so they don’t speak out. This is an issue that everyone should care about-regardless what race you are because we live in this country.I don’t want to grow up and live in a place where the law is enforced in relation to the color of the person. Staying quiet about it only invites others to continue believe that this type of behavior is okay, and worse-acceptable.
Obviously a problem as complex as this will not be solved with a simple solution. But I do believe that there should be an upheaval of current police actions regarding stops regarding non-violent incidents, a greater understanding among the general public about America’s very confusing racial landscape, and a willingness to act and demand change.
I’m interested to hear your opinion on this issue.