Living In Fear Of African Americans
Racially driven hate crimes are constantly being justified by the excuse of fear.
Every time I hear of a racially charged crime that’s taken place, I get overwhelmed with anger, sadness, and fear for the future of my own children and this world. The deep rooted prejudices drive the racial profiling, the stereotyping, and the fear that people committing these crimes constantly use as an excuse. I just heard about an incident earlier in the week about a St Louis police officer getting shot by a fellow officer.
The shooting officer was Caucasian, and the wounded was African American. The shooting officer’s excuse? The usual, “I feared for my safety” phrase. Before I go any further, let me make this clear that this is not about police brutality, but about the fact that we live in a society that criminalizes and fears humans based on the color of their skin. I’m unable to wrap my head around how this has been coined a justifiable excuse for people to get away with murder.
As the video goes on, there is a line that sums up exactly what is wrong with this country. It states that there is “this perception that a black man is automatically to be feared.” I need to know, where does this come from? To me, this sounds like some reverse psychology society has played on itself. Going back to the root of where problems began, when slaves were sold to white masters against their will and were used for labor, pleasure, entertainment – basically every aspect of dehumanization. A portion of the human race that was treated like animals and actual dirt, are the ones to be feared?
This apparent racist fear has to come from a place of subconscious guilt. Their veins run with the blood of their racist ancestors who enslaved many men, women, and children, so they must be in actual fear of retaliation
Can you imagine what the world would be like if African Americans lived a life full of rage and revenge as a whole, racially profiling and carrying out hate crimes because of the facts from our country’s history? It’s hard to imagine when we still live in a time where a certain race still views themselves as superior over another. We live in a government riddled with old, white America that do a damn good job of making it hard for people to rise out of the socioeconomic status that they were pigeonholed into by circumstances that were often not chosen.
Too many lives have been lost due being the aforementioned victims of circumstance. Philando Castile lost his life for simply following the law. Trayvon Martin, a child, lost his life because he was wearing a hoodie. Freddie Gray made eye contact with an officer, and that sealed his fate. He died from three fractured vertebrae and a crushed voice box which happened while he was in police custody in transport to the station. Charleena Lyles was pregnant and home with 3 of her children when she called the police to report a possible burglary. She was shot multiple times in her home, being deemed unstable. Don’t forget about Alton Sterling, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Michael Brown – the list sadly goes on.
In every single instance, all of these victims were assumed a threat because of a stereotypical label placed on them by their murderers. In every single instance, there was no conviction. Not only is there no justice given by the judicial system, there is no justice in society. In comparison to the people who continue the fight to prevent the progression of this engraved hate, there are even more people not doing anything. There are not enough people with enough clout to be a voice for the effected communities. There is too much complacency and comfort in doing nothing when it doesn’t directly affect someone. None of this is a good enough excuse – there will never be any excuse that will justify racially charged hate crimes.
In trying to make sense out of something nonsensical, I’ve only been able to come up with one theory. This apparent racist fear has to come from a place of subconscious guilt. Their veins run with the blood of their racist ancestors who enslaved many men, women, and children, so they must be in actual fear of retaliation. So many people have become victims of circumstances that they never had any control over. Lifestyles and opportunities are predetermined for people based on the color of their skin: the neighborhoods they live in, the jobs they get, the type of privilege they have, the opportunities presented to them. Race plays a huge factor far more often than people want to admit or realize, even something as great as determining whether or not a person has the right to live.
We need to rid our minds of these toxins, and really take into consideration the value of human life. By coming together, learning each other’s cultures and differences, we will then be able to see change take place. We are all people, there is no excuse that warrants fearing another person (especially a damn child) if they have not directly threatened you. For all the innocent lives that have been taken, and the ones we will lose, minds need to be opened and change needs to happen.