Are you paying attention? America in state of emergency
War and terror are among us, but here in America, terrorism is not terrorism when the antagonist wears a blue uniform and a badge. Having a badge makes you invincible to the law. Having a badge means you have the right to ignore an individual's human rights. You have the right to harass. You have the right to rob, steal and even kill. You have that right, because you have that badge.
How great can this nation be if we send troops to other countries to defend them against terrorist acts, but our own police officers are literally snapping the necks of unarmed black American citizens. Yet, there is no call for a state of emergency. There is no declaration for a war on terror. The only responses to the unjustified murders of black people are the outcries from people (which are likely to be dismissed or illegitimated) and the excuses from the mouths of officials. Really, Baltimore Police Department? Freddie Grey broke his own neck? The fact that police officials even fixed their mouths to say that to the public speaks volumes.
We have live footage of people officers killing unarmed black people, yet the protestors are the ones who are seen as wild and outlandish — told to calm down. The protestors are beaten, bruised and arrested. It’s mind-blowing that the cause of the state of emergency are the protestors, not the police. Maybe for the nation to respond to police brutality it must occur in countries that have resources we have not already dominated. If this were to happen where the oil or natural gas is abundant, our troops would be on the first plane over. But when it happens on our own soil, the land of the free and the home of the brave, it’s just news. It’s just something that happened, or something that is happening “just for now.”
For the rich and powerful people who profit off of the oppression of black people, police brutality is nothing but a bad public relations situation. For the people who suffer, this is lived life. Do you understand how serious this is? Black mothers are becoming more and more afraid for the lives of their black sons, because they know that a college education is not enough for him to escape the violence. At one point she thought it might be enough, so she did all she could to make her boy look “presentable.” She always kept his haircut low: no dreads and no braids. She always kept him in nice clothes. She worked day and night, so he could go to college. And he made it — all the way to Morgan State University, only to be kidnapped by police while peacefully speaking out against police violence. Where are you Joseph Kent? I pray you are okay. But imagine if Joseph Kent was white, how would the situation be different? I really want you to think about that, so I am not going to answer it myself.
Attention Gov. Chris Christie. Why are you sending state troopers to Baltimore? Your police officers let a police dog maul a man in plain daylight, who died soon after arrest. And then, your officers, Christie, confiscated the phone of the onlooker who was recording the abuse. But it’s not stealing, because he is a police officer, right?
We live in a world where corruption is disguised as community involvement. Institutions make claims that they are for the people and not for profit, but actions show the real story. Everything that we absorb from the media needs to be read with a conscious eye and heard with a critical ear. We must never take things at face value. We must always think deeper about what is being presented to us. How will these things affect our community? How will this affect us five years from now? How will this affect the future generations?
We have seen history repeat itself over and over when we look at the black experience in America. We should not be slaves to a society that we work to live in. How long can you kick a dog before the dog bites back?
Kaila Boulware is a School of Arts and Sciences senior majoring in public health. Her column, “RU Conscious,” runs on alternate Fridays.