Police Brutality: Are We Still In Slavery?
Why does it feel like we are in slavery again? Could it be that we still are? We put so much hope in the police system. Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t they supposed to “protect” the U.S. citizens? It seems as though there is one specific group they like to target the most, that group being black people.
After Rodney King was brutally beaten by the L.A.P.D. back in the early ‘90s, it seemed like America started to realize that racial issues within our police system were problematic. From then, it only seemed to get worse and worse. When we started to hear about Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, John Crawford, Michael Brown, Sandra Bland and Sam Dubose (etc. the list goes on), it left questions still to be answered.
Over the summer, we continued to lose more and more black lives (Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, just to name a couple). Major cities like Baton Rouge and Dallas had vicious protests surrounding the deaths of the innocent black lives that were taken. From then on, it seemed like it became terrible before everyone’s eyes when people started to retaliate against the police officers, killing five of them. I hated that their lives were taken away, but America should have seen this storm coming.
How could Thomas Jefferson write in the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal?” I don’t think of America being equal when black lives are consistently being taken away by police officers. The officers are the “brave” citizens we are supposed to trust. Instead, they feel superior and powerful toward innocent unarmed black people, and the first thing they grab when they feel “unprotected” is their guns.
Not only are black men being brutalized by police, but black women, too. Black lives as a whole are endangered. According to “Mapping Police Violence,” unarmed black people were killed by police five times the rate of unarmed whites in 2015. This is one of the causes the Black Lives Matter Movement was created. This wasn’t saying that all lives don’t matter, but black lives are constantly being taken away, discriminated against and looked down upon more than any other race. It saddens me when people don’t understand why this movement was created, or they don’t want to accept why this movement was created. Any time black people want to express their pro-blackness or stand up for each other, it intimidates people. It starts to get looked down upon, making black communities feel uncomfortable, but what we have to realize is if we aren’t standing for ourselves, nobody will. It’s important as a race that we stick together through the good and the bad.
When I asked the question earlier about slavery still existing, I wonder if it still does. Sometimes I feel that it does, but we’re not chained up physically; we are chained up mentally. There are chains on our minds that we are constantly fighting off. Institutionalized racism exists every day in our society and nation. Police brutality just so happens to speak louder in the media. I’m scared for my black brothers and sisters every day because I fear that we will only become a memory that fade away.