I have never been the rah-rah type, the type to get out in front and lead the way but despite the past, change needs to take place in order to have a bright future. With gun violence running rampant across the United States and the local and national news constantly focusing on the turbulence rocking our world, it is time for us as humans to look at ourselves and ask what can we each do to contribute.
I know people are probably asking themselves, what can I do; I’m only one person and I’m not even from that area. Me personally, I ask myself that question all the time and I also wonder why anyone would even bother to listen to me. But history has shown that one person and one voice can make a difference. It only takes one person to decide to take a step in the right direction and before you know it, a nation is walking beside you.
We should start by contacting our local officials as well as officials from across the nation. We can contact civil rights organizations and try to effect real and lasting change by getting laws in place that punish officers for committing these crimes against unarmed black youth. Right now, police officers receive a slap on the wrist and not only that but they are protected and insulated by their follow officers as opposed to being condemned for their actions. It’s only natural to want to form a bunker mentality around someone that you perceive to have a bond with but what happens when that bunker mentality which is meant to protect becomes distorted and ends up actually assisting that person in committing atrocities.
Many people of my color like to using a saying “It’s open season” when stories hit the news of young, unarmed African Americans being shot and killed in the streets of America for no reason. I’m sure the police officer will tell you that he had probably cause but what else is he supposed to say; at that point the officer is in CYA (Cover Your Ass) mode. Not only that but with the proliferation of guns in America, normal civilians take the law into their own hands and shoot and kill young African Americans. When I hear the phrase, “It’s open season” I think back to the old Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd cartoons where the tricky hunter would put up a fake sign that reads: “Rabbit Season is Now Open.” There might as well be a sign up on every street in America that reads: “Killing Black People Season is Now Open.” I mean, they basically gun us down in the streets now without any repercussions as if we were wild animals and to be honest, I would not be surprised if that is how some people see us. Although I am no scientist, I do know that despite skin color, when a black or white person is shot, red blood leaks out.
It has also been revealed that police officers on the city and state level have been receiving military vehicles, equipment and weaponry that was built for WAR, not for maintaining the peace in a community of American citizens. When police officers open fire on peaceful protesters and arrest journalist then this is no longer the America that is advertised to the world. Instead of trying to aid every other country and nation around the globe, we need to focus on home and (pardon my French but) get our shit together.