What Led Up To This
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What Led Up To This

Like a rubber band pulled to its limit by the tension, the breaking point of institutional racism has been reached, and is now snapping back in the faces of the perpetrators.

What Led Up To This

A man choked to death by a vile police officer.

A country set ablaze and split apart.

A president who chooses to hide rather than lead his country.

What led up to this?

There's no question what led to the state of this broken country: the institutional racism woven into our nation's police force and the disgusting acts and murders that have followed. Traced back hundreds of years, racism took the form of one of one of humanity's greatest crimes. Slavery persisted throughout the world. Most of the enslaved were Africans taken from their homes to serve the white Europeans who believed God was on their side. Africans built the new world from the ground up, especially the thirteen colonies of Britain, and after the revolutionary war slavery was still instilled into the heart of America. This hideous blot on the history of America continued on until 1865, when Abraham Lincoln, along with the support of figures such as Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman, freed the slaves through the thirteenth amendment.

Unfortunately, the African Americans went from being enslaved to being segregated and lynched for simply living peaceful lives in the south. The Klu Klux Klan slaughtered and lynched hundreds of African Americans, because of misled and twisted ideas that skin color determined worth and moral standing. This continued on, and cases such as the murder of Emmit Till displayed how destructive racism was. Fast forward a few years, and Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X fought against the segregation of black people and white people. While the two prominent activists fought for the same things, King Jr. was known for preaching peace, while Malcom X took a more aggressive approach. In 1954, segregation in schools was ended and in 1964, the Civil Rights Act was passed, ending institutionalized segregation that stemmed from the Jim Crow laws.

Like a broken record, racism struck again and again, subtly rearing its ugly head through the form of police brutality and southern citizens taking the law into their own hands. With the state of the country today, there's no question of why the rubber band has snapped. The murder of George Floyd threw gasoline onto the fire that is the Black Lives Matter movement. This fire has spread across the globe, igniting in countries such as the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and others. It's no question why the African-American community is outraged. They have been the victims of unprovoked killings, false accusations of crimes, and mass incarcerations as long as anyone can remember. They, among many other minorities, are seen as lesser beings solely due to their skin color. They have been killed because of this disgusting preconception that they are dangerous and a menace to society.

Now is it clear why this country has been set ablaze? This is centuries of abuse, murder, and destruction snapping back in the face of the institution. Most have decided to fight back with peaceful protests, and I want to believe that peaceful protests will bring change. Unfortunately, the United States President has chosen violence. He has chosen to oppress these people further and send this country into more chaos, into more turmoil. Now is it clear? These people are angry, and anyone with the right set of morals should be angry as well. God loving Christians, who follow the ideal that everyone is made in God's image, should be infuriated. This hideous blot we thought had been erased was only covered up and shoved in the closet. But enough is enough.

I stand with the movement, not because of internet clout or peer pressure, but because the murder of innocents based on skin color angers me. My family came here because America was thought to be the land of opportunities, where dreams came true. Not this land of nightmares, this golden cage that entraps those looking for a better life. I stand with this movement because when you stand back and choose indifference, you're the one with your finger on the trigger, you're the one firing gas canisters at the crowd.

With the world backing the Black Lives Matter movement, change has to occur. Change must happen. Nothing will be the same as five months ago. And thank God for that.

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