Luis Castro Colorado

Racial Injustice

3 points addressing this huge issue

Dear next President,

We as humans need to become one if not we are on a certain path to self-destruction. As a country today the United States is at one of its lowest points in history. The internet and social media have catapulted the cases of racial injustice in the United States into a state of crisis. It seems as if every other week a colored person is getting shot. Riots are getting even more police and civilians injured, and it needs to stop. The first steps to come together as “The Human Race” will be addressed with these three points: police brutality, how the justice system operates, and how stereotyping is a big problem in the United States. I think the first steps to ending these huge problems are acknowledging then first.

The first point is police brutality. This is not a new issue but it seems as if every year it’s getting worse. There are so many cases of people being assaulted and hurt but by officials but only a few have gotten worldwide attention this past year. Philando Castile was pulled over for a busted headlight by Jeronimo Yanez, a St. Anthony, Minnesota police officer. Castile told the officer he had a licensed weapon and when he was asked to reach for his license he was shot four or five times. The video that surfaced through Facebook live went viral in hours. In the car was Castile’s girlfriend and his four year old daughter. What really caught people’s attention was that in the background you could hear the police officer cry and sob at what he just did. This goes to show that this officer was not suited and prepared to be behind a gun; but yet we allowed and are still allowing unprepared police officer’s to carry lethal weapons when it is more than obvious that this officer was not suitable to carry or be behind a gun.

Another case that shook the United States and social media was the case of Alton Sterling. This happened one day before that Philando Castile shooting. Reports of a man selling bootleg CDs and threatening people with a gun outside a convenience store in Baton Rouge Louisiana made their way to the police station. A number of officers arrived to the scene, confronting a big black man. This is where the video begins; we see two officers take down Sterling, then we see a police on top wrestling and then out of nowhere shots are heard and we see Sterling dead with a bloody chest. The Autopsy revealed that he died from gun shots to the chest and back. Witnesses say that at no point did Sterling pull out his gun or do anything to cause the police officers to shoot him. Clear evidence that shows that his color determined his fate that night.

We also have the case of Antonio Zambrano-Montes, a Hispanic man who was shot by three police officers last year. Many cases like these don't really get the attention that black people getting shot get because it doesn't fit into the white versus black issue that has been going on for hundreds of years. They also don't get the attention because they don't fall into the whole Black Lives Matter movement. This case was said to be a Hispanic version of Ferguson with many people questioning why Hispanic shootings don't cause as much attention as black shootings. Your color determines whether your death is herd about or not nowadays.

The second point is the justice system. We see that police officers don't get punished for what they do to colored people. We rarely see them getting any jail time or any punishment for what they do. We have the case of George Zimmerman, who shot Trayvon Martin a couple years ago, and nothing happened to him. All we had was riots and one black teen dead. The court seems to forget that the only reason why Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin was that he looked suspicious, which is no excuse for what he did. It is also fact that black and Hispanics are a total of 70% of the people who are in jail and only 30% of the people in the United States. New reports from the NAACP says that 1 out of 3 black males will go to jail in their lifetime, which is terrible and really sad. People could argue that black and Hispanics are the people that are doing most of the crimes but I have no doubt that in some of these cases blacks or Hispanics are getting targeted. NAACP reports show that 10% more black people go to jail for the same crimes compared to white people, just for being a bit darker than white folks. Now don't get me wrong every race has that one person who is just dumb but these numbers truly make me question whether the justice system is being run fairly or not. Science also proves that color causes bias in the court now these are not false accusations these are actual fact.

The third and final point is stereotyping, and let's face it, everybody does it to a certain extent. But it seems as if every single year cases of stereotyping are getting worse and the stereotypes are getting in the way of what people achieve. The most perfect case of stereotyping was as I mentioned Trayvon Martin's case. He was shot for being black and wearing the hoodie, simple and plain. The way you look seems to be more important than your actions and what you do as a person, which is not fair for colored people. People’s color shouldn’t determine if they get a job or not. Color shouldn’t determine if you go to jail or not in our l lifetime; your resume should. People should be able to wear what they want without getting stereotyped as a thief or criminal. Now, this doesn’t happen to some people because they live in small towns or have not been exposed to the real world, but I’m sure that if everyone lived in a place where a number of races come together then people would hear many more insults directed their way. Stereotypes cause so much fear in people that those people become unpredictable. The people who are meant to protect us are now the people who are more scared, and a scared man with a gun is the most dangers man there can be.

In my opinion addressing police brutality, admitting that our justice system is corrupt, add acknowledging the fact that stereotypes are getting in the way of people success are the first steps we need to take. We can't wait for another shooting; we can't wait for another case. We need to do it now for the sake of the United States and its people. We live in a world where racial injustice is a huge problem in the United States and frankly it's a stupid problem. Race shouldn't determine what you end up being in your lifetime; your actions and decisions should. I'm not saying we should love one another, I'm saying we should respect one another because we're all different. When 49% of people think that racism is a big problem in the United States and 33% think it's somewhat of a problem then there's a huge problem in the United States and we need to fix it. We need to stop being so ignorant and accept that everyone is different and everyone has a different story but at the end of the day we all have similar struggles and are really more alike than different.


Luis Castro