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When We Were Carefree

The taking of innocence through violence and unregulated behavior.

When life was care free (Photo by Chris Ricks)

Remember when you played in the park, in the field, on your block, or even in your yard with not a care in the world? Yeah, me either.

Those days have long been suppressed in the back of children, teens, and adults’ minds for years. Replaced by visions of violence, police brutality, gang violence, and worst off, political corruption. The relationship between police and community seem to be broken and irreconcilable.

Speaking to an audience of whoever will listen, this is not a story of how blacks fell from glory, or how the White man held back the Blacks, nor is it a story about reparations and 40 acres and a mule. There has been police brutality between police and Whites as well as other races for many years. Many of which do not make mainstream or social media. When they do make the news, most of those interactions do not spark as much outrage from the public as interactions with Blacks do.

Thus, this story is about injustice, however, more specifically the constant violence portrayed against blacks in the mainstream and on social media. It is about the images shown to children and how the once innocent is now confused.

The irony of this situation is that on the other end of the spectrum, children of other races view the same images and may be confused as well, thinking that this is the way things should be and that this is the way people that look different from the way they do should be treated.

In minority communities across the country, as children, we are taught that the police are here to help and protect us. We are taught to turn to the police in the time of duress and emergencies. However, how can we turn to the police under these conditions if we see images of people like us being shot, abused, or brutalized by the ones who are sworn to protect us?

How is it possible to expect a child turned teenager to trust the police when the police often approach them in a standoffish, condescending, and suspicious manner?

How can we expect a teenager turned adult to trust the police if when the adult is pulled over that adult is more concerned about surviving the stop than responding to the request of the officer promptly? In these situations, the public would rather deal with their issues on their own and face the consequences when it arises.

We are products of our environment and we become what we see. We respond to situations in a "survival of the fittest" mentality. But why? Why are so many people in authority under the impression that they are above the law or that they are the law? Let us talk about this.

Let us have an open discussion on the realistic steps that should be taken to break this cycle and give the youth a fighting chance to become a productive member of society.

Let us put party affiliation aside and discuss ways to eradicate mental slavery, marginalization, disparaging and oppressive language and actions. Let us discuss means of not just leveling the playing field but allowing one to develop equity.

A prosperous nation will not survive with the wealth and rule of the top 1% history has shown us that time and time again. Are people across all racial and socioeconomic spectrum being taught the value of life?

Is police brutality a form of racial oppression? Is it an attempt to keep a specific part of a population stagnant? These are all questions that we must address to reconcile a broken community between the police and the public. The rogue element of the police force who were not properly vetted prior to appointment should lose their jobs.

These officers give the entire police force no matter the city or state a black eye each time an issue arises. The police leadership needs to implement more mandatory public sensitivity training and deeper consequences for infractions from law enforcement while at the same time not putting them at risk.

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When We Were Carefree
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