Sunday, August 17, 2014

Black, As A Weapon?

Racism has always been part of the fabric of America. It's many aways it is part of the landscape, ingrained in American culture, and like it or not, it's seems to have no end. In many ways it has gotten better, we have an African-American president and African-American's are making strides that our ancestors only dreamed of. But despite this progress, one thing we have not managed to accomplish is equality in the American consciousness. Although we can go to any school that we want, and sit at any lunch counter that we please. In some segments of society we still looked upon as something to be feared. Our skin color signals both danger and disregard. Our humanity is often disregarded simply because we are considered dangerous. Young, Black, unarmed teenagers are being murdered in the streets by both Police Officers and citizens because they are considered guilty of something simply because of the color of their skin, and not by virtue of prior knowledge of bad deeds. This is the only explaination. White teens are not being gunned down in the streets like wild animals and the only difference between the two is melanin. Both Black and white teenagers are proven to the have the same bad judgement, dalliances, and foolishness. The difference is the  fact that African-American teen are more likely to be murdered for their mistakes. The visual envokes feelings of distress, as if black and brown skin is a weapon. This behavior is nothing short of alarming and bizarre, and as incident after incident plays itself out in the media, it has become evident to me that this culturally integrated fear overrides anything that remotely resembles good judgement or common sense. It is actually the antithesis of a reflex reaction, and not a conscious decision. This doesn't make it right or execusable by any means. But what we can extrapalate from these murderous reoccurrences is the fact that in addition to being poorly trained by their departments, some police officers, just like the average person, are poorly trained culturally. But poor cultural conditioning cuts both ways, and if this gaping, open wound does not heal, it will continue to infect America with disastrous results.
Those of us who are African-American much raise children who are well versed in how to interact with both the police and the public at large. We must raise them to live and survive.


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