No entire group of people is good or bad. All white people aren’t good or bad. All black people aren’t good or bad. All muslim people aren’t good or bad. The list goes on and on.
Stereotypes and generalizations of entire populations have without a doubt hurt us as a nation. From skewed thinking that all black men are threats to people who claim all muslims love ISIS, these mischaracterizations of large people groups are both extremely offensive and damaging to society as a whole.
The recent epidemic of shootings involving African-Americans and police officers is a serious problem that needs to be addressed. There’s absolutely no denying this fact.
The death of both Alton Sterling and Philando Castile this week alone proves this point. While all of the details have not been released and there are surely facts that the general public does not know, these situations should not have resulted in the use of excessive force that robbed these men of their lives.
Alton and Philando were sons, brothers, husbands, fathers, and friends. Both of these men should have gone on to live long lives, but will no longer have the luxury of doing so. Sadly, this has been the case for many innocent people in the black community who were profiled by rogue police officers who viewed their badge as a license to kill.
The anger of the #BlackLivesMatter movement is justified. This group of people have seen their loved ones taken from them because they were viewed as a threat due to the color of their skin. This should not be happening in the 21st century.
Imagine living in a world were you fear being pulled over for a speeding ticket because a policeman might think you’re reaching for a gun when you’re really just trying to get your ID, so you’re shot and killed. That is the reality facing many black people today which is not only sad, but also deeply concerning.
During a press conference about the two incidents today, President Obama said we must “do better” and he’s right. Whether this is a problem of individual racism by these officers or an issue with what they are being taught in how to handle situations with african American people, something has to change. This is an undeniable truth that people of all backgrounds should unite behind.
Black lives matter so, so much. We need criminal justice reform to fix this epidemic that has robbed the black community of many lives. They have every right to weep, to stir with anger, to protest. Taking that anger and using it to simply rob more innocent people of their lives is wrong. Killing each other isn’t a solution. This is such an important issue that crosses all barriers of race, gender, party, etc. I hope we find a solution. I pray we find one soon.