I’m A White Latin American, And I Support Black People And The Demilitarization of the Police
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Politics and Activism

I’m A White Latin American, And I Support Black People And The Demilitarization of the Police

Let's Stop This Madness.

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I’m A White Latin American, And I Support Black People And The Demilitarization of the Police

A Tale of Two Cities

I had a conversation a few weeks ago that truly solidified what it means to be living in a society that is "A Tale of Two Cities"- a phrase used by American television journalist, Chris Cuomo. The "Two Cities" refers to the majority and minority in our society. It doesn't take much thought to distinctly say who the majority is in our society. Whites are and always have been the majority in our society. As a White Latin American, I can say with certainty that at some point in my 23 years of life, I have benefited from the color of my skin. I can also say with certainty that my last name has been a detriment to me at some point in my life. However, my last name is not the first thing you know about me when you look at me. I recognize that being White has been a privilege, so yes, white privilege is real. With that being said, not recognizing that white privilege exists, is an ignorant thought that is destroying the well-being of Blacks and other minorities. By saying phrases such as "I see no color" or "white privilege does not exist", you are promoting racism.

America Has A Broken System

We need to recognize the reality. The reality is that we have swept the harsh struggles of Blacks under the rug. The reality is that Blacks are being marginalized and are dying for no reason. Even if a person is guilty of a crime, such as petty theft, does that warrant murder? Are material things equal to a human life? The reality is that law enforcement has become a danger, not a means of harboring safety. The reality also is that the case of George Floyd isn't the first and won't be the last Black man to die as a result of a broken system. The reason that it won't be the last time is because of the actions that our government and law officials are making TODAY. The police officer who murdered George Floyd, Derek Chauvin, is currently outside of a jail cell and peacefully residing in a residence. How can a man who murdered someone be able to have this freedom? Why wasn't George Floyd shown this compassion? No, instead he was murdered in broad daylight despite his pleas to stop the abuse he was suffering. TIme and time again, Blacks are stripped of their basic human rights and as a White Latin American, I am sick and tired of it. We all should be sick and tired of this. As long as the majority chooses to exercise their White supremacist power, the system will remain flawed. Now, more than ever, we need Whites of ALL ethnicities to stand up for the Black community.

The Power Of A Protest

The protests taking place by the Black community and their supporters are 100% justified. The former president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, once said "When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw". This quote speaks volumes. These protests are occurring because no one is listening. No change is being made. It is easy to look at these actions and blame Blacks for being violent. It is more difficult for people to be empathetic and ask themselves "Why is this happening?". The reason that these protests are occurring is because it is the only power that can be exercised by the Black community. As a society, we have agreed to a contract to honor the freedom and rights of every American. Are we honoring the rights of Black people if they are being discriminated against and harmed because of the color of their skin? Black people are hurt. Black people are enraged. Black people's basic rights are being violated. I am hurt. I am angry. I will defend the rights of Black people. One voice is not enough. All of our voices need to come together and scream loud enough until a change is made. Not tomorrow, not a year from now, but now.

What Can YOU Do?

An action that can be taken right now is to spread awareness. Spread awareness to your significant other, friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors. Educate them about the consistency of police brutality. All it takes is a simple Google search. Instead of posting a selfie on your social media site, share the thousands of videos and posts spreading awareness of "Black Lives Matter". If you support that Blacks deserve their basic human rights, then spreading awareness is the simplest way to show it. Another action that can be taken is supporting the demilitarization of the police. There are five countries in which police officers do not carry firearms unless the situation is expected to merit it. These five countries include: Ireland, Norway, Iceland, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. The amount of academy training that police have for the use of deadly weapons is undoubtedly important. Police officers in Norway require 3 years of training and police officers in Iceland require two years of training. On the other hand, training for the police in the United States averages about 34 weeks, or short just of nine months. The discrepancy is extreme because it shows that U.S. police officers' training is 1-2 years shorter than these other countries, who also have much less crime rates and police officers killing civilians. Thirty-four weeks of academy training may be sufficient for police officers to learn how to defend themselves. In other words, to learn how to shoot in order to kill someone. However, that is vastly different from learning how to de-escalate a situation that involves a civilian with a firearm. Thirty-four weeks of academy training is not enough time to learn how to protect people. The U.S. culture is different from other countries. It seems that we have an "every man for himself" mentality and that is not about protecting and serving, it's about power and manipulation. Law enforcement's job should be to protect people. We are seeing more violence and it's being showcased in the Black community. What happened to George Floyd was broadcasted because the situation resulted in his death. Now, imagine the thousands of Black people who suffer from this kind of abuse from police on a daily basis. There is a lot more that we are not seeing. We should support the demilitarization of the police to stop police brutality. So please, SPREAD AWARENESS and SUPPORT THE DEMILITARIZATION OF POLICE. Most people forget that Blacks have built America through their labor and fight for freedom towards a true democracy. The thousands of protests that occurred in the past during the Civil Rights Movement were the actions that led our country to live up to their words on Our Declaration of Independence."Life, Liberty, and The Pursuit of Happiness"- were not words that applied to the Black community until they fought for them. Their struggles paved the way for every other major protest in history: women's rights, gay rights, disability rights, etc. They made our country what it is today and they deserve our unconditional support.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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