Liberty and Justice for All?

July 7, 2016

America was never great. No matter how much Trump says “Make America Great Again” it was never great to begin with. I live in a nation that was built on stolen land and pain from my ancestors. Back then slaves were whipped, lynched, and dehumanized. In 2016 black people are still being dehumanized, just in different ways. We are targets. The men who are supposed to “protect and serve” decide to “shoot first” instead. Why do they feel so inferior to us when they are the ones with the power?  Why do they feel so weak when they are the ones with the gun?

Alton Sterling was a black 37-year-old father of five. He was just a man selling CDs in front of a store. Next thing he knows he’s being forcefully pushed and held down to the ground by two white officers. Each officer had one of Alton’s arms in their hands, yet one of the officers screamed “he’s got a gun” even though he was unarmed and had no way of reaching for anything. He was shot six times. Philando Castile was a 32-year-old black man who had no criminal record. He was pulled over by a white police officer for a broken tail light. The officer asked him to pull out his license and registration. Knowing the dangers of being black around an officer he informed the officer that he had a REGISTERED firearm. When Philando was reaching for his license, the officer shot him four times because he was scared he was going to pull out the firearm. His wife and 4-year-old daughter were in the back seat. Both of these men died less than 48 hours apart.

The police killed more than 100 unarmed black people in 2015. Nearly 1 in 3 black people killed by police were identified as unarmed, though the number would be higher if it wasn’t for underreporting. Unarmed black people were killed at 5x the rate of unarmed whites in 2015. Only 10 of the 102 cases in 2015, where an unarmed black person was killed by the police, resulted in officer(s) being charged with crime. Only 2 of those 10 resulted in convictions of officers involved and that only lasted a year. The statistics are all here yet people continue to deny it all. We continue to get gunned down by the ones who are supposed to help. “With liberty and justice for all,” are you sure?

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