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In the past few years, and especially in the past few months, the world has seen an explosion of viral videos and altercations that showcase the way that black people in America are treated. Normal activities such as taking a nap, getting coffee, having a barbecue, renting a house, going home, selling water, babysitting white kids, and simply walking out of a store are all things that can apparently result in an altercation that will involve the police. Living in the U.S. while being black is becoming impossible to do without harassment and in some cases, incarceration or death.

 

While most cases seen lately have just involved ridiculous harassment, it doesn’t always end that way. For example, the case out of Houston, Texas where a black man was shot and killed in his own apartment by a white, female cop who claimed to have walked up to, opened the door, and walked into the wrong apartment while supposedly thinking it was hers. This case raised the issues that run deep in the black community of feeling unsafe in the world and brought them forward into now feeling unsafe in their own homes.

One would think that in this time of viral videos and social media outrage that people would be more mindful of what they are doing. People must realize how ignorant and blatantly racist they are going to be perceived if they harass black people for no reason. Using the excuse of being uncomfortable is unacceptable and is a pathetic ploy to cover up the obvious racial bias and stereotypes that these people believe and subscribe to when it comes to determining the legitimacy of a black person doing a normal, everyday task.

This country is very quickly taking a turn back into the days where people were separated based on skin color and people were afraid to interact with each other for fear of the police, or in some cases, death. People need to take a hard look in the mirror and ask themselves, “would I want to be treated this way?” If the answer is no, then why would you subject an innocent person to that treatment simply because their skin color makes you uncomfortable? There needs to be a bigger conversation in this country about the racial tension and harassment that is so blatantly and frequently occurring.

It should not be accepted for black people to be nervous about simply walking or being in their own home or going to meet someone in a coffee shop. There need to be consequences, other than job loss, that teach these people that their ignorance and racial biases are unacceptable and that calling the cops on people for no reason other than living their lives is not going to go by unpunished. Resources that could be used to save people’s lives and help solve real crimes are being wasted fielding baseless calls from people looking to prove their biased stereotypes right, and that should not be permitted. When will this country stop treating its black citizens like they are less than or somehow more criminal simply because of the color of their skin?

 

IMAGE SOURCES:

Gifs from Giphy.com

Reference photo from Unsplash.com

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Ashleigh Griffin

Virginia Tech '19

Ashleigh is a graduate from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.  She received a Bachelor's of Science in Food Science and Technology. Her future career will hopefully combine both her knowledge of the food industry and the importance of marketing and brand management. 
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