Black Lives Matter
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With tension and emotions still running high from the announcement of the Mike Brown verdict, matters seem to only be getting worse. As I write this column, it was announced that there is no indictment against the NYPD officer in Eric Garner’s choke hold death.
If you somehow are unaware of what happened, Eric Garner, an asthmatic father of six, was placed in a choke hold by officer, Daniel Pantaleo. Garner was being arrested and accused of selling loose and untaxed cigarettes. During his arrest, Pantaleo used beyond aggressive force and wrestled Garner down to the ground and preceding to put him into a choke hold. Ignoring all of Garner’s pleas and struggles to breath, Pantaleo caused him to lose his life.
These stories are nightmares with the same awful reoccurring themes- injustice for African American murders at the hand of police.
This is the true American Horror Story. Being African American in a country that prides itself on liberty, not knowing when you’ll be wrongfully accused, harassed or murdered while the people who are causing the wrongdoing are the ones who are here to serve and protect.
As a black woman who has heard and seen countless stories like these, I cannot say that I am remotely surprised by the outcomes of the recent verdicts. A part of me always tries to think that maybe, just mayhem this time will be different, but after today, my optimism for proper justice for the African Americans has officially expired.
There are still many people who try to separate race from this situation, which only makes me feel even more disgusted. The trending topic #CrimingWhileWhite on twitter only further establishes that white America lives safely while the lives of black Americans are lowly held in importance:
I can’t help but feel frustration. One fatal tale after the next. Who’s next?
Where can we go from here? We are constantly told to remain peaceful and to still hand our trust over to the police, but it is evident that we are still chained to negative stereotypes.
For starters, maybe a high school diploma and going through the police academy isn’t enough for these officers to have a badge and access to a gun. It is clear that a lot of these officers, namely the ones who have wrongfully murdered lack intelligence and tact. If we trust our lives with doctors, we want to know that they have gone through the numerous years of education in their field. Why can’t we expect the same from the police?
During times like these, I can only wonder where hope can be found. I have shed tears for these victims time and time again. What is even disheartening is realizing that we all are potential victims. As much sorrow as this brings, all I can do is try to be more proud of my race and wait for justice to come around and prevail.
For those who don’t know or have forgotten- Black lives matter.