I am so disappointed. I am so ashamed to call myself an American. I am disappointed in what my country has stood for throughout its history.
The police shootings are just a symptom. It’s a mere side-effect of a much larger issue. Although the past few days have brought about more attention to the grave injustice that exists, sadly, these shootings are actually such minor issues that even if every police officer who have committed police brutality were charged for their crimes and all of these shootings stopped, we would hardly make a dent in the racism prevalent in this nation. You see, racism is a silent assassin that has always played a role. It is not an individual problem, as we so often frame it to be (“that racist cop” or “that racist political candidate”). It is a systemic, societal problem. It is a dark, ugly force that has unnecessarily taken, and continues to take, so many black lives, quietly, but constantly, during every period of our history: the poisoning of tap water in Flint, the delayed rescue actions in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, the lack of access to basic nutrition in inner city neighborhoods, and all the housing, employment, and health care discriminations that prevent people of color from having a fair shot at life, just to name a few. Imagine, what if these deadly environments existed in say, Beverly Hills, CA? Do you think society would start caring then?
Let’s not pretend like racism is an issue of the past, or that it’s a small problem that we can stop if we only stopped few racist people from holding positions of power. Racism has been, and continues to be, a systemic problem that plagues this nation.
I am disappointed in my country. I am disappointed in where we stand today.