I am 17 years old and I know that I have a bright future ahead of me. The only thing I don’t know is if it’ll be taken away from me by authority figures such as the police.
Oscar Grant was in the midst of changing his life around but the new future he had was stripped by BART police.
Eric Garner was a loving dad who lost his life in a chokehold performed by a group of NYPD officers.
Ezell Ford had a promising future but was shot down by LAPD officers.
We all know about Rodney King and his beating.
Michael Brown would have been educating himself at college this week but he didn’t get to take a single class.
At some point our nation needs to really think about the bigger picture at hand. The race issue is indeed an issue but the bigger issue is not white against black; the bigger issue is right against wrong. I feel that the world that we live in is very wicked if we cannot feel protected by those who are supposed to “serve and protect us.” How many more people have to be killed for us to see that injustice exists? How many tears have to be shed for us to see that something is wrong?
How many more people have to be killed for us to see that injustice exists?
Beautiful lives have been taken away by ugly spirits and to add insult to injury, little consequences have been ordered for those responsible. In fact, officers receive administrative leave for killing innocent souls. That’s the scariest thing to me.
But we must not act out of emotion — that’s exactly when we see our opinions ignored. It seems to me that the only way to get something changed in America is through litigation. We must come up with laws that allow us to hold the murderers of innocent lives accountable.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s words ring deeply true to me: “Discrimination is a hellhound that gnaws at Negroes in every waking moment of their lives to remind them that the lie of their inferiority is accepted as truth in the society dominating them.”
We have been asking for justice since 1619 when slavery came to America. All I’m asking for is peace and harmony for ethnic minorities.
Editor’s note: Damani Jasper’s opinion piece is a powerful example of how young men of color are affected by Michael Brown’s shooting. APAGS readers might find these links helpful:
- An APA blog post discussed how to talk to youth about events like these.
- APA summarized and linked to psychological research on racial stereotypes and threat assessment in an August 14th statement on Brown’s death.
- Dr. Keita, head of APA’s Public Interest Directorate, blogged about the need for dialogue on race, prejudice, and stereotyping after the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s shooter.
Damani aspires to be an orthopedic surgeon. He completed a fellowship at APA and previously blogged about student debt.