Ex-police officer Darren Wilson recently participated in an interview with the New Yorker, revisiting the Ferguson issue. Wilson, better known as the police officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown, caused what seemed to be the tipping point of racial problems around the country – mainly Ferguson, Mo. Many of you may be rolling your eyes already, insisting we forget about this, that we put it behind us. But what a lot of us don’t think about is this: We might be tired of hearing it, but they are tired of living it.
The point of this piece is not to talk badly about Wilson – that’s being done enough. This piece is to instead talk about the constant racism people of color all over the world have to deal with. This may seem strange to you, coming from a white suburban teenager, but as Patrick Stewart once said, “Most people do not listen to you unless you are an old, white man,” and I have only one of those things going for me, so I figured it was worth a try.
Here I am bringing your attention to this: Ferguson IS a race issue. Racism is not dead. It has only morphed to our current settings today. This is not a fun, cute subject for classroom debates. This is a serious issue, and we must listen to the people of our communities, the people of our country. We need to support people of color, believe their stories and stop defending murderous people just because they are cops.
I’m not saying all cops are corrupt, but if you look at how people of color are treated in comparison to white people, especially by police officers, you’ll definitely see a trend.
Take this into consideration: People of color make up about 37.4 percent of the United States population. Yet, almost half the people killed by police are people of color. And out of all that, 63 percent of the people of color killed are unarmed and posed no threat. Even the pool party in Texas, the police officer there – Cpl. Eric Casebolt – pulled a gun on two teens who were trying to help their friend while the officer kneeled on her back. The girl was 14 years old, wearing a bikini and yet he said he “feared for his life” from this young girl regarding a call from a neighbor about “too many black kids at the pool.” And people still say this isn’t a race issue.
These kids and adults are not “thugs,” as some deem them.. They are people seeking justice. Please listen to them. Some of them have even said they don’t want your sympathy, that they just want better lives.
Let’s all work together to end this nonsense and help the people of our world have justice for what they need. I encourage you to read up on some personal stories of the people affected by racism and Ferguson, because white voices just don’t cut it. We need information from the source and the true accounts of the people in need. Only we can change the world by listening.