As if racial tensions are not at an all time high already, early Tuesday morning of this week two Police officers gunned downed what appeared to be an unarmed black man. 37-year-old Alton Sterling of Baton Rouge, was standing in front of a store early Tuesday morning selling CD's when approached by police. Police where responding to an anonymous caller who claimed Sterling went inside of the store he was selling in front of and threatened the store owner with a weapon. This recent death by police is the 558th death in this year alone on United States soil.
What Do We Know
We know that as police approached Sterling an altercation ensued where the two officers wrestle Sterling to the ground.
During the struggle you can hear on the eyewitness video someone yelling "He's got a gun". At that time the two officers pin Sterling to the ground, as one of the officers starts to shoot Sterling five times, killing him instantly. It has also been reported that both officers where wearing their body cameras, but somehow they fell off during the struggle.
Why Does This Continue To Happen
There are certain historical factors we can look at when talking about race-relations in this country between blacks and whites, especially involving the black community and more specifically white police officers. Historically, there was a time especially in the Southern parts of the United States, when people used to hunt down runaway slaves to bring back to the plantations. Then, there's the issue in media of how black people have constantly been portrayed in #News and media as a whole as: dangerous, drug-using, gangsters, killing each other, ignorant, lazy, chicken/watermelon eating, and only good for entertainment, or sports.
The black community did not have the power to begin to control their media perception until maybe the last 30 years. Now, if you add all of that propaganda and marginalization together over the past almost 70 years that brings us to how we got here. Perception is everything to not just white America, but black America as well. We all to some degree have drunken the kool-aid and are living out a scripted movie as we start to implode.
What Could Be A Solution
I personally believe that healing can begin if we all take the time to hear each other out. White Americans cannot continue to dismiss black Americans unfair societal claims and treatment by some police. Black Americans sometimes can buy into all the propaganda much more than any other group simply by choosing to partake into some of the media driven hype setup to trap them. Now, as a black man with a black son this always hits home. I can understand that if you are white, this isn't your reality and you have the privilege to be oblivious to these issues, but everybody does not have that "privilege".
As black people and as a country we need a time out from sweeping everything under the rug and begin to have serious dialogue about race in America. We cannot forget the bad parts of history. This country was built off marginalization and racism point blank. No, this will not change everybody's view and perception, but it will change some. My hope is not that we just unite, but wake-up and stop drinking the poison in front of us. People wake up! #Terrorism #Policy