America, our so-called land of the free and home of the brave, has made people question if it truly is just that. With the numerous injustices and systematic racism that has been ongoing since the birth of our nation 2020 has spoken loudly and the American citizens are tired. This issue of racism and the struggle for equality in America affects the Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC ) citizens living in this system. For there to be a change we all as a whole, must work together to end racism and amplify the struggle for equality in America. There is no better way to become involved and advocate for change then in our own communities, schools, and homes.
We struggled to write this editorial because we didn’t know where to begin. The racism and the police brutality we see in 2020 has always been here. This summer, America watched a Black man die with a knee on his neck from someone who swore an oath to protect him. This summer, America watched a black man go on a daily jog before he was gunned down by white supremacists. America watched and continues to watch how nothing is being done about a woman who was killed in her sleep by four police officers. Or the mysterious murder Vanessa Guillen and Sgt. Elder Fernandes whose units failed them by not following their code as a soldier. This nation has watched minority human beings fall victim to racism and its brutality, and has done absolutely nothing.
We witness this system demonize BIPOC citizens such as Trayvon Martin, destroying his character, but when Kyle Rittenhouse intentionally was driven by his mother to a site where he had intentions of murdering two people, he is displayed as a white male who has done volunteer work in his community. This is just a small example of how the American justice system depicts BIPOC citizens. In some instances, the system uses harsher terms when describing any interaction that involves minority citizens, or it uses mug shots or degrading images to tear down their character in an attempt to display to the world that this person is a disgrace to society. In other instances, community service work pictures are displayed when talking about Kyle Rittenhouse, or the graduation picture of Brock Turner instead of his mug shot is shown after he had sexually assaulted a woman of color. Or Amber Guyger, who was highly spoken about as an amazing police officer, killed a Black man in his own home because she thought it was her apartment. What they did, like many others have done, got swept under the rug because they either had a ‘future ahead of them’ or they were ‘misunderstood.’ Yet it is allowed for this history to be repeated over and over. Why is that?
Racism cannot be discussed without talking about the trauma that comes with it. Minority communities are expected to just deal with whatever is thrown their way and to be OK with that. We are expected to just move on and get over it. We feel as though America is telling us that we are not allowed to react, grieve, or not be affected about what is happening to our communities. We are victims of the brutality of racism, white supremacy and colonization, and we are tired of being blamed for the assaults against us. We aren’t given a break to recoup from the many generations of repeated racism and inequality. So it is natural that we feel upset about these senseless killings, racial profiling, and people not being held accountable. This is the land of the free and home of the brave, right? Then why aren’t we all free?
We should not have to live in a society where we have to keep explaining that we are human beings. We should not have to live in a society where there is still an issue with racism and a struggle for equality. What type of life is it to have to walk on eggshells and watch your every move or word? Or teach your children that the world judges them differently because of the way they look? The continuing issue of racism and the struggle for equality in America has affected the minority communities that live in this system. Our hope is that this nation will never forget the victims lost to police brutality. We hope America will never forget George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, Lionel Morris, Ahmaud Arbery, Botham Jean, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, and so many more. We are tired of dying. We are tired of fighting to be seen as human beings. But we will never stop fighting. The NAACP has been fighting for racial equality and justice since 1909 and will continue to do so forever. There must be a change. Get out into your community, schools, and homes and be the change.