A black male teen asks: “When will we work together so that we may all live in a true nation of justice?”
America, the land of the free. This is something I’ve been brought up to learn and believe in school and other programs. America, this great nation. A nation with problems long forgotten, a nation of absolute freedom and security. A nation of prosperity and justice. A nation for the people, and by the people. The greatest nation on Earth. This was my childhood, and this was my understanding. America was the best country in the world.
Though, as I grew older, these views began to alter. I am dismayed by what has been going on in this country lately, politically and socially. Though for this instance, I’ll divert my attention towards Ferguson. Hearing the news that officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted for shooting Michael Brown was heartbreaking to say the least.
As a black male, I couldn’t help but divert my attention towards this case. There was a feeling inside me that called for me to notice what’s going on in our country, and to realize certain situations. I became aware of the fact that as a black individual, my life and values are below those of a white individual, specifically a white male. This led me with a sense of confusion and dismay. What makes someone’s life of higher priority than mine? Why was that the case with Ferguson, as seen with the way some people dealt with the shooting? It appalled me to such an extent that I felt like crying. Where had this ideal come from? Questions soared through my mind as I educated myself further on the topic, and American history overall (particularly the treatment of people of color throughout the nation’s growth). Enraged, I had no hope of figuring out why a nation built upon the notion that “all men are free” would still have the same issues hundreds of years later.
I paid more attention to Ferguson than any other issue partly because I began to educate myself about this country’s true past, one of racism, discrimination, and imperialism. Upon educating myself I had something click in my brain. The whole incident didn’t seem just at all. Based on the details I received about the case, I was sure to form my own conclusion (that in which Darren Wilson should be found guilty of murder). Yet once I heard the final verdict, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of astonishment and knowing that this would be the outcome.
Of course Darren Wilson would get away with it, happily skipping to the bank with his half-a-million dollars that were graciously given to him for the murder of a black teenager. He is a white police officer. Let alone the fact being white already gave him “higher priority” over Michael Brown, but add in the fact that he’s a police officer and you will no doubt have a stream of support for him. Have things really changed in this country? Are we really a “free country”? The simple answer is no. We have not been since its creation. We are still striving for many changes. The ideal that racism “died” during the 60s is absolutely false. Being an officer does not excuse you from an unjust and immoral deed in any way, shape, or form. Officer Wilson should be charged for his actions. There is no doubt that he murdered Michael Brown, and that’s that. It frustrates me that there was support for an officer that killed an unarmed black teenager. It frustrates me that my life is endangered because of my race.
The fact that more white people are upset over the burning of American flags than the murder of a black teenager really shows you where priorities lay in some of the white community. When will this all end? When will we work together so that we may all live in a true nation of justice? The protestors who are out fighting for a cause peacefully, those are the heroes of our nation as well. They are fighting for a major change, just like the Civil Rights protestors in the 50s and 60s. The murder of Michael Brown was tragic, no doubt, but also sparked and insight which woke the majority of America up, and opened their eyes.
My generation does care about these social issues more then adults may think, and we are all generally on the positive side. Michael Brown’s murder will be marked down in history, and will be the footprint of a new movement, a movement that will demand social change and justice. Those leading these protests are the ones who are brave. They fight for change in a nation that has long fought against them. We will not stop until black lives are seen as equal, and justice is served.
My race is valuable. I am valuable. I won’t let anyone take that belief away from me. From the children of Ferguson, and to my generation, our voices should be heard. Allow us to speak our minds and express the injustice we feel. Allow us to stand up for each other’s rights and to protest what is morally wrong. Please, allow us to demand change.
Rest in peace Michael Brown, may you never be forgotten.