On Thursday, August 14th at 7pm an entire Nation stood together in efforts to shine light on the monstrous events of Ferguson, Missouri. People chanted at vigils in every major city in the united states for Michael Brown; the young African American man who was gunned down on Saturday, August 9th 2014 by a police officer. He was unarmed. His hands were up. He was shot several times. The supposed reason? He stole a pack of Cigarillos from a store. The story's still being told. People are upset. And they have every right to be angered. Within the last month alone there have been reported incidents of police violence that have lead to fatalities of unarmed citizens. As the people of Ferguson mourn the loss of a young college bound man they also fight for their own safety. Riots and Rallies, peaceful protests, turned into militarized law enforcement injuring protestors during the days after the shooting of Brown. The city is angry. The Nation is watching. And, we are tired.
Assemble for peace.
Prepare for war.
There is a war going on that is much bigger than police brutality. As educated young minorities of our generation we have a societal responsibility to voice our disgust for the volatile behavior of our law enforcement, our government, our country as a whole. While we may be a hopeful people, we mustn't forget about the realities of the nation we live in. Where our young men of color are targeted daily; not for crimes committed but for being themselves. And if that doesn't bring fear into the homes of all Americans then clearly the lack of humanity is at a level of atrocity.
"We declare our right on this earth...to be a human being, to be respected as a human being, to be given the rights of a human being in this society, on this earth, in this day, which we intend to bring into existence by any means necessary." (Malcolm X)
In the past month alone:
July 17th, 2014 - Eric Garner was placed in an illegal choke hold by an officer of the NYPD. He was killed that day. You can catch it all on video.
July 27th, 2014 - Rosan Miller who is seven months pregnant is placed in an illegal choke hold by officers of the NYPD for “illegally grilling” while her seven year old daughter witnesses the encounter.
August 2nd, 2014 - Denise Stewart is dragged from her shower across the floor and her four year old grandson pepper sprayed as the NYPD raids her home. It was the wrong house.
August 5th, 2014 - John Crawford III was shot and killed while holding a BB/Pellet gun in a Walmart in Ohio. His family is speaking out, saying the police used excessive force. They want answers.
August 9th, 2014 - Michael Brown is fatally shot several times by the Ferguson Police in Missouri. The story is still being unfolded. Although we’ll never really know the whole truth. For this young man is laying in unrest.
Or perhaps we should back track a bit:
February 2nd, 2012 - Remarley Graham was gunned down in his Bronx apartment after members of the NYPD raided his home without a warrant. He was 18 years old and he was unarmed. His grandmother and 6 year old brother witnessed the incident.
*Interesting Fact: the officer Richard Haste received cheers from his fellow 47th precinct officers after he plead not guilty to manslaughter charges. Grahams parents sobbed uncontrollably as they witnessed this behavior in the courts.*
October 4th, 2012 - Noel Polanco, a National Guardsmen was fatally shot by a NYPD detective at a traffic stop. He too was unarmed. The officer in the case, Hassan Hamdy has yet to be indicted.
January 1st, 2009 - Oscar Grant III was shot dead as he lay face down on the floor of a subway platform at the Oakland Fruitvale Bay area rapid transit station. The Bart transit officer who killed the young man claims he meant to pull out his taser but mistakenly grabbed his revolver. Whether it was carelessness on the officers behalf or another case of a police officer drunk with power; the end result was fatal.
November 25th, 2006 - Sean Bell was gunned down by officers of the NYPD the night before he was set to be married. 50 shots fired at unarmed Bell and two friends. The officers responsible for the shooting were acquitted of criminal charges.
The list doesn’t end there and it doesn't begin there either. There are cases that will leave you speechless and others that will leave you in tears. These men and women have done nothing but be of black or latino descent. Because the officers of this “great nation” have been protected by our governmental officials for far too long. And occurrences of this magnitude will continue. And there is nothing we can do? We have no reason as a people to be upset? No reason to speak up?
SHOOTING AND KILLING UNARMED CITIZENS IS DOMESTIC TERRORISM.
With every action comes a reaction. And if we allow our rights to continuously be violated then we will eventually find ourselves in a place where no one is safe. Personally, that just doesn’t seem like the type of world I want to bring children into. And there lies the exact reasoning for my words. Our future and the future of the children we are bringing into this world. They deserve to have limitless options.
Revolution (n) : the attempt by many people to end the rule of one government and start a new one.
- a sudden, extreme, or complete change in the way people live, work, etc.
The revolution will not be televised. But it can be spread over all social media outlets, blogs, online publications and through all peoples of this nation. We are the majority. We are indeed a threat to a nation who is losing their control over our minds. We are the ones who can change our situation because we have equipped ourselves with the knowledge, the passion and the understanding that a small group can and will make a difference if the agenda is pushed fearlessly. I worry for my friends, my family members, my peers. I am done worrying. Done living in the bubble that “it can't happen to me.” These events can easily happen to any one of us. At any time. And if we don’t take steps to change the system then when it does happen and hits closer to home, we’ll have no reason to complain because we did nothing to prevent it.