A TALE OF TWO CITIES: Reflections of Racial Injustice & BLM
In a world driven by an obsession over power and one fueled by attitudes of hostility and ignorance, it cannot be deemed a surprise to witness the outbreaks of injustice that have ravaged North America over the last few years. As people around the globe witness the aftermath of the heinous acts against individuals such as Ahmed Aubrey and George Floyd, it is imperative that society, as a collective, does not let these incidents become merely consigned to the history books, but instead allows them to become a rallying cry for institutionalized change and a new order.
According to the Los Angeles Times’s Amina Khan, “1 in 1000 Black men and boys can expect to die at the hands of the police” — 2.5 times more likely than any white men or boy, which begs the question as to the reasoning for what can only be described as a clear form of prejudgement. The only suitable answer seems to lie in a dichotomy of interests between different members of the public, where some side with the notions of sympathy and brotherhood, while others can only be described as bringers of chaos and evil. With that being said, it is by virtue of the magnitude and frequency of these tragic events, that could only prompt one to consider the premise that these incidents are not aberrations but rather a result of an underlying issue of intolerance stemming from both cultural and historical biases.
Reflecting back on the past, therefore, it is obvious that the African-American community has faced systematic oppression since the advent of slavery until the finality of the Civil Rights Movement. It was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. himself who stated: “Our lives begin today to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Over time countries such as the United States have made attempts to rectify their mistakes through policies such as the CRA of 1964, but the fact of the matter is that it would be ignorant to negate the idea that there are still clear socio-economic issues which present themselves as a result of the historic mistreatment of the Black community.
Additionally, playing a key role in this situation, it is also these problems that have given rise to widespread stereotypes — becoming a permanent aspect of a foundational cultural landscape. But with the incredible presence of social media, these generalizations have become perceived as innocuous features of society, although in reality, they have formed a facade that has inevitably hindered people’s ability to engage in open-hearted, genuine dialogue.
Even with all that in mind, more sustainable solutions have yet to reach the forefront of the nation; fortunately, however, similar resolutions have been reached in the broader international sphere. Germany, for instance, has given emphasis to Holocaust education over the last few decades, serving as the central impetus for positive change and a new social outlook. These same principles can indeed be applied to the North American context where it is apparent that public and private schooling systems have lacked scrutiny on recent, pressing issues such as police brutality, among others. Furthermore, a shorter-term (long overdue) solution ought to take the form of a thorough investigation into policiary and justice systems which evidently do not reflect the standard of equality that countries claim to hold themselves to; on the contrary, they more accurately depict a feeling of a “tale of two cities”.
“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” Abraham Lincoln
Sadly, it is unlikely that these measures will be taken without courage, advocacy, and demonstration, but with the Black Lives Matter movement having become one of the largest anti-racism movements in recent times, it seems as though times may actually be changing. Hopefully, such support will finally bring justice to those who deserve it.