So I just did a speech on this in school, and I’m gonna be honest, I’ve been overwhelmed by coursework. So, I haven’t had any time to properly sit down and create sentences. So, here is my transcript.
No one group of people deserves more justice or equality than the other & acknowledging that is important. We need to impart this knowledge onto our generation now, because in this dystopia, there is no teaching old dogs new tricks.
There’s no doubt in my mind that black youth in America are more susceptible to police brutality solely because of the fact that they’re black. According to polling by the Public Religion Research Institute, the percent of Americans (over 16) who say that the criminal justice system treats black people unfairly rose by 9 percentage points in just one year. In fact, every category of person polled was more likely to think so in 2014 than in 2013, including Republicans, people over 65, and whites.
America has a history of only making changes once police violence is caught on tape and shared widely. One of the first instances was after police attacked peaceful civil rights protesters in Selma, Alabama in 1965. They assaulted a group of about 500 demonstrators using tear gas, whips and sticks after Governor George Wallace ordered the planned march from Selma to the state capital Montgomery to be halted on the grounds of public safety. The television had just become an ever-present appliance and the disturbing images of brutality were hard to ignore when they flashed across our living rooms.
The recent death of Mike Brown in Ferguson, and the aftermath of this incident is most likely the most prominent candidate for change. If you do a quick Google Image search for the word “Ferguson,” the visual story of that conflict seems solidly on the side of the protesters, not the police.
Militarized tanks, rubber bullets and tear gas are all being used to ‘control’ a peaceful protest. Innocent people fighting for the rights, breaking no laws, were assaulted. The police department declared it a riot, and there were several incidents recorded where the officers were aggravating the crowd to generate a reaction to ‘justify’ their wrongdoing.
Would protesters be treated the same way if they were perhaps, of Caucasian decent? The West-Boro Baptist Church, a corrupt and twisted group of people, living a life full of hatred towards America itself is allowed to picket and protest at the funerals of the 20 children killed in the Sandy Hook School massacre. It’s justified because they’re white Americans who use the ‘freedom of speech’ act as an excuse.
Mind-boggling. In Ferguson, they’ve even gone so far as to taunt the peaceful protestors with K-9 units. If that isn’t a call back to the 1960s in response to peaceful protestors simply wanting to have equal human rights I don’t know what is. A Tumblr user’s grandmother was watching the protests on TV and said “If you ever wanted to know what fighting for equal rights was like for us back then, you’re looking at it right now on TV.”
Another act of violence was caught on surveillance video at an Ohio Wal-Mart showing the moment police fired upon and killed a man who was carrying an air rifle sold at the store itself. The recently released video appears to show 22-year-old John Crawford being fired upon seconds after police encounter him, no deliberation as to whether or not he was a threat.
It’s absolutely unacceptable that a young, black adult with a toy gun, talking on the phone with his girlfriend, not posing any threat to the public gets executed, while numerous Caucasians can strut through a store with real guns and have no fear whatsoever about someone batting an eyelid.
You may be thinking, why is this ‘white’ boy talking to us. Understandable, however most of my family is black. You may be thinking, why talk about America and not the UK? The simple answer is, because I felt it was relevant. These issues have an affect globally, and America is such a powerful nation that if things of this nature are happening over there, they are definitely happening here.
Oppression, racism and unjustified persecution are real. The only way that youth today can fight is to use the Government’s rules against them. Education is the key, learning the right that we obtain is key. Use rights to plead our case, that is, if the police don’t murder us before we have the chance. Gaining intellect to survive in the society that has been corrupted by unprecedented discriminations. The police may concoct their own version of events, the media will portray some as ‘gang-bangers’ or drug users, but the only way that we can fight is with intelligence rather than physical action. Otherwise, there will be no progress. The fight won’t end today, next year, in a few years, but as Martin Luther King said “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”