1. The Social Stigma
Many Americans, including black and brown, believe that only men of color are guilty until proven innocent. I’ve heard several citizens of color plea to their own races for social development, instead of confronting the real problem. Black on Black crime is definitely an issue, but it seems as if people have taken on a similar narrative: “Until they stop killing each other, don’t blame us for killing them.” This is unacceptable. We can’t put law enforcement in the same category as citizens. They are supposed to be the good guys. Regardless of Black on Black crime, these officers have sworn to uphold the law. What do you expect young men of color to assume about the police when so many have been murdered, unarmed? And the story never really changes: “He was reaching for my gun.”
2. War on Drugs
Obviously, everyone has an opinion on marijuana. But I’m pretty confident in saying the worst thing about marijuana is the fact that it is illegal. It has proven to be the pretense of misunderstandings between young men of color and police officers. These young men are not stupid. They can piece together the fact that corporate America allows substances that are far more harmful to go unpunished and remain lawful. Meanwhile, a drug that is pretty harmless has lead to the death of many young men of color – – only because it’s illegal. Tupac Shakur eluded to this in his timeless track “Changes” – – “Instead of War on Poverty, they got a war on drugs so the police can bother me.”
3. The Smear
As I mentioned before, these young men are living, thinking human beings that matter. When we see cases such as Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin, Armand Bennett, and several others, there is always a dialogue about our character – – usually pertaining to marijuana usage, trumped up charges, or petty crimes. All of the aforementioned individuals were related to one of those instances. I don’t know many young men, under age 30 or so, that haven’t made mistakes – – black or white. Contemporary evidence of this would be the Mike Bron case. Ferguson police and major media outlets released security footage of Mike Brown allegedly shoplifting from a corner store. The police later admitted that he had no clue of the robbery when he confronted Brown. So why is there a national conversation about the shoplifting incident? I guess you say since he robbed a store, he deserves to die? Really? Is that how our “innocent until proven guilty” court systems work now? Am i being illogical here?
When I get in my car and drive past the police, I am apprehensive whether I have done something wrong or not. I can honestly say that I have been profiled on several occasions. I can’t remember too many situations where the police didn’t ask me about guns and drugs. I’ve never owned a gun in my life. This automatically gives you the vibe that you will be punished at some point,regardless, since they’re looking for you to foul up. This creates distrust between the police and young men of color. We’ve already made assumptions about each other before he asks for my driver’s license. He assumes that I must be up to something, and I assume that he pulled me over because of my skin color. It shouldn’t be this way.
5. Just Us
When I look at the demographics of the United States in its political nature, it wouldn’t surprise me that young men of color would be targeted. We are obviously the overwhelming minorities, so it’s harder to hear our voices. We already know this. We can never prove that we were pulled over because we’re black or brown. We may assume this when it’s really not the case, but what would you think given the statistics of our incarcerations? Numbers don’t lie, family. The law should make sure that ALL wrongdoers are punished and no specific group is excessively punished.
Below is a video of the incident between Martin Jeter and the New Jersey police. He faced trumped up charges from the police department until an interesting video of police misconduct surfaced. Check it out….