I’m pretty sure all of us know how bad things are getting. The world is mourning two men whose unjust deaths have restarted the #BLACKLIVESMATTER hashtag. Yes, I am talking about Alton Sterling and Philado Castile. Alton was a husband and father, and Philado was a well loved man who worked in a school cafeteria. These men were murdered by the police within 24 hours of each other’s deaths. Alton was shot at point blank, for doing nothing wrong. The man didn’t have a gun on him like the police claimed. He was in red and holding CDs – these were the only grounds that the police had to shoot him. They hadn’t even confirmed that he was the reported man with a gun. They just told him to get on the ground and within minutes he was dead. A family lost its pillar because by the time Alton was on the ground, the cops couldn’t admit that he wasn’t the reported man. So what did they do? They shot him at point blank. Philado Castile on the other hand, was pulled over because of a broken because of a broken tail light, which is understandable. However, what is completely unacceptable is that as he was reaching for his gun license and ID, he was shot in the chest by the officer. Note that he declared his actions. He told the cop that he was reaching into his back pocket for his license and ID card, and yet the officer still shot him. He was shot in the chest in the passenger seat, all while his girlfriend pleads in the drivers seat and his girlfriend’s daughter sees the gore unfold before her in the back seat. These men were taken away from their families, because of what? Because the officers felt threatened by someone because they didn’t look like them? Because melanin made them uncomfortable? Because they didn’t have blond hair and blue eyes? It is so sickening that the prejudice these officers held onto outweighed the lives of these two men and the people who love them.
It’s bad enough that these men were killed unjustly, but what makes everything so so so much worse is that the only reason people are actually making waves about this is because both murders were caught on video. There are so many others like these men who have gone unacknowledged because their deaths weren’t exposed to the media. An insane number of lives stolen by prejudice and racism. So many people taken from their families. These police shootings have to stop. The people in the position to protect are those bringing lives to an end the same way the criminals they catch do. There’s so much wrong in the situation – so many people gone but not forgotten and so many more lives taken like this.
This confuses me so much because I don’t understand why these lives should be lost. What is there to gain where people lose the ones they love? Why is racism such a big thing when it is completely possible to live with each other in peace? Why do things like this have to be caught on camera for there to be action taken? Why does prejudice outweigh the lives of these men? When will the world realize that we are meant to push forward as one humanity? When will a person of color know that the pigmentation of their skin is not a target for bullets? When will these people be able to simply be? When will they feel safe in their own skin? These people’s children do not deserve to lose parts of their families. These people’s children shouldn’t have to learn that when a cop walks by, their hands have to be in the air so the cop wont shoot. These people deserve to be protected. We need to protect them. We need to change the system. We need to teach the generations ahead not to make the same mistakes as those before us. We need to be the change.
Times like this are those wherein I am so glad I have the opportunity to fight for these people.I’ve never been one to take inequality nicely an #BlackLivesMatter may not be my battle, but I still offer my full support to this community. I will fight for and with them to my fullest capability. I will not be silenced.