The heightened sense of nationalism which the U.S.’ fabric is woven with has caused tears of myopic military praise in the American Dream. No matter how morally bankrupt, Americans will shamelessly defend their army and police forces. One of the many parts of the American Dream which remains corrupted is the sanctity of life for black Americans.
Black Americans are 2.5 more likely to be murdered by police officers. Recently, the murderers of police brutality victim Alton Sterling have dodged any charges against them. This is unsurprising considering David Duke, former Ku Klux Klan leader, was chosen to represent the state.
The U.S. has perpetually procrastinated its effort to identify and stop the modern-day lynching of black people for many reasons. Since its conception, the U.S. has tried to solve its identity problem violently. Black Americans have been made to be a caboose on a freight train wandering aimlessly.
This construct allows for Americans to identify as everything but the rock-bottom imagination they have of black people. In capitalism, the upper class exercises its existentialism through moral superiority over the lower class. America’s race relations allow this sanctimony with class, race, gender and their intersectionality.
This antagonization feeds the U.S.’ addiction to fulfill the role of a comic book hero. Black Americans have filled the role as the U.S.’ needed villain, since before movies such as D.W. Griffith’s “Birth of A Nation.” Americans paint such a black and white picture because they have no interest in contemplating the complex consequences of their decisions.
The reluctance to accept criticism is why Americans have placed their most fearsome terrors on minorities, especially black Americans. The insecurity presented by Americans has created the illusion black lives are insignificant.
The devaluing of black lives has led to some of the most intellectually dishonest defenses for government-permitted lynching. Police fanatics claim cops are under constant duress and should not be blamed when they take a life.
Policemen cannot be praised for their limitless bravery if they resort to acts of cowardice to perform their jobs. It is not an ideal skill to protect people’s lives if the method is to murder anybody who may pose a threat. This rationalization would justify a paranoid mind to commit mass murder.
It is not an act of public service to kill someone in fear for your own life when your justification for fear is a cell phone. Cop advocates still claim these acts aren’t racist but merely accidental.
The paranoia between minority races and policemen exists because of Americans’ lack of ability to connect their private lives to their public stance. Public perception is a game show filled with bright lights, famous names and great opportunities.
The optimistic atmosphere of constantly advertised con-games, corrupted sports enterprises and sexually mistreated Hollywood have hidden the problems which persist underneath. Americans have a simple view of their society. Their behavior is problematic subconsciously because their conscious is distracted.
Philando Castile’s murderer may have not known why he feared or hated black men so passionately. Tamir Rice’s murderers do not know why they saw a 12-year-old human as an adult beast. The failure to realize race relations and the relations between the police force and black people crippled any chance of justice these policemen might have permitted in the scenario.
Castile was a teacher who cooperated excellently in the encounter, after all. Many attempt to distance historic racism. It is ignoble to insinuate that those who had a relentless thirst for the sight of blood dripping down leaves have vanished from the face of the Earth. David Duke’s existence entirely refutes this point.
There is hypocrisy when perpetrators of gun violence are labeled as neurotics or super-predators, but policemen are exempt from these criticisms. Policemen who kill unarmed black men, or even sometimes young black children, suffer from a mental derangement called racism.
Black people can’t even escape this violent persecution with the Second Amendment. When the Black Panthers were constructed, their goal was to protect their people with arms. They were quickly labeled as terrorists and Americans called for gun reform.
Recently the White House has deflected police killings as a states matter, resembling remnants of pre-Civil War society. Nonetheless, we are amidst a wonderful time where the victims of a tragic shooting in Florida are starting the revolution against gun violence. We can only wish this revolution also has a place for black people and does not exempt police from criticism.
We can only hope this revolution succeeds in bringing the gun control and police reform this country has needed for so long. To secure such historic feats, we cannot merely be observers. Each one of us has an obligation as an American citizen and human to tailor the revolution to our vision for a better world. Majority is not defined by the numbers we have, but the influence we have. We must influence our communities for a better tomorrow for all of us.
Soheil Saneei is a biological engineering freshman from Metairie, Louisiana.