Dear Next President,
You are the leader of the world’s strongest nation, you have the power to change nations and even the future. How about we use some of that power on your own citizens. I’m sure that you are already concerned about this issue just as any other American, but have you heard the story from a completely different point of view?
March 3, 1991, after a high speed chase to escape the cops, Rodney King finally pulls over and is beaten after surrendering by 4 police officers. The whole incident was recorded by a plumber named George Holliday with a camcorder from his balcony. Rodney was hit more than 50 times and sustained multiple fractures as he laid motionless. A year later, April 29, 1992, after 3 of the 4 officers involved in the beating of Rodney King are acquitted, minutes later, at the intersection of West Florence Avenue and Normandie Avenue a crowd composed of mainly African-Americans and Latinos start a riot and pull a white male driver from his truck and beat him in the street. This riot lasted 6 days, the material damages were estimated to be between $800 million and $1 billion dollars. There was also a total of over 2,000 injured and 53 who were killed during the riots, 8 killed by the LAPD (Los Angeles Police Department) and 2 killed by guardsmen.
You might be asking yourself, why are you bringing this up? Most teenagers weren't even alive back then. I grew up in the southern LA area. I moved schools a lot in that area, Long Beach, Carson and Compton. Going to different schools, you meet different people, and different people have different stories. My favorite stories were those of the riots, when my friend’s parents talked about them; you could understand it way better than any textbook or any website.
Racial inequality is unfortunately linked to Police Brutality. Police brutality is the use of excessive and/or unnecessary force by police when dealing with civilians. ‘Excessive use of force’ means a force well beyond what would be necessary in order to handle a situation. Unfortunately, this primarily targets young African-Americans and young Latinos. And the worse part is this is still going on to this date. Police are still terrorizing young African-American and Latinos. Yes terrorizing. I can’t think of any other term that would fit as perfectly as that, although it is a very scary word to use. Officers of the law have lost the trust of many citizens of our great country.
Can we ever leave the negative behind us and think of a possible solution? It should be together, the government working with the people who give them power, the citizens. I would love to just make everyone see through the skin color of someone else because at the end of the day, we are all equal, we are all one, we are brothers and sisters. There isn’t an amount of ammunition, bombs, or threats that’ll make someone change their way of thinking, deep down not superficial. You can't aim a firearm at someone to force them to think like you, and if you could...where would that leave us as humans?