Over the past few years, there has definitely been an increasing trend of police officers and white civilians administering their own personal versions of justice through killing many young, unarmed black men and women.
Between George Zimmerman and his acquittal after his vigilante killing of 17 year old Trayvon Martin, the June choke hold death of Eric Garner at the hands of the NYPD, the 2013 shooting of Renisha McBride who was seeking assistance after crashing her car, the February 2012 killing of Ramarley Graham, where police unlawfully broke into the apartment he shared with his family and even the recent shooting of 18 year old Michael Brown, who was slated to start college tomorrow, there has been an obvious increase in violence between the black community and law enforcement individuals and certain white individuals.
In many of these cases, there has been a huge uproar within communities of color, as they share shock and similar sentiment towards the law, which has expunged almost all of the individuals who have killed young black men and women, providing sometimes unbelievable reasons as to why the individuals are not guilty.
While we should be incredulous and appalled at these court cases, killings and verdicts, are the protests, tweets, a few public acts of solidarity, etc the BEST and ONLY things we really can do to uplift each other?
In Chicago alone, which seems to be becoming the epicenter of black on black violence, this past summer has witnessed over 600 shooting victims, many which were fatal. Add in New York shootings, stabbings, beatings and mix that with similar acts from across the country and we clearly have our own epidemic going on amongst us. If we are to truly take a stand against police and interracial violence, should we not first make sure we present a united front by proving we can keep the peace between ourselves? Can we not teach them to honor our lives by showing them we do the same?
While it would be very difficult to attempt to battle law enforcement individuals on our own, we can greatly decrease the frivolous deaths of our own people, helping that many more of our youth have the chance to realize their potential and grow up to be amazing contributing members of society.
We needn’t start taking bullets for our youth per se, but finding ways to keep them off the street and take up their time with more productive activities, such as sports or learning a trade, can be the first step in helping our future generations. We may not be able to convert the current individuals involved in gangs and senseless, violence, but we can focus our efforts on protecting the others, and gradually reach out to those on the streets in time as well.