Monday, October 13, 2014

Enemy Of The States

"I am an invisible man. No, I am not a spook like those who haunted Edgar Allan Poe; nor am I one of your Hollywood-movie ectoplasm. I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids - and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me." Ralph Ellison said those words in his book The Invisible Man which was written in 1952. This book along with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's books and Letters From Birmingham are some of the most important and inspirational works I have read.

In the wake of the Michael Brown shooting and the civil unrest it has caused to this day, I can't help but have a heavy heart. With the 24 hour news channels scrambling to fill air time we get updates on certain patterns of the same news on a daily basis. Cases like Treyvon Martin and Michael Brown are becoming daily news. Then, once the case reaches the judicial system its way too often that the true victims are victimized again with outrageous verdicts like Not Guilty in the case of George Zimmerman, the man who shot and killed Treyvon Martin.

That's like telling Martin's family that it was his fault he was shot for walking down the street while being black. Listen to the 9-1-1 tapes for yourself before you comment. The kid was targeted for being black. I have a feeling the officer in the Michael Brown case will be found not guilty which would just continue the pattern of police killing innocent people. Ok, some of the people may have been found guilty if they were arrested and had a chance at due process.

When I was growing up I was always taught that if I got pulled over to obey the officer even if I knew I was right, and to fight the ticket or charges in court. However, what can you do when you are being shot at when you're not armed? For not moving fast enough, or moving at all? I say keep these stories in the news, but change has to come from the courts. Plenty of useless laws are being passed everyday how about adding some meaningful ones. I call on congress and specifically, the Congressional Black Caucus to step up.

I watch everyday in disbelief. How many innocent people have to die based on their skin color? How many more parents have to bury their children? When is enough enough? When I see this kind of treatment it's hard not to take it personally, I fought for my country. I was in the United States Marine Corps and I don't talk about it much because it's none of anyone's business when or why I served. If you're a minority and a certain skin color do you automatically become an enemy of the state in some of these officers minds? If not then how do you explain this shoot first mentality?

What's strange is that I know some police officers where I am from and these are good guys and they're job is so much tougher now because a few bad cops with itchy trigger fingers and bad intentions give the entire force a bad name. So personally I have no problem with police, but I watch and I am guarded and I am aware of my rights even if my fellow citizens who become jurors and the justice department aren't. Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, well I'm pursuing happiness everyday but I shouldn't have to give my life for my son's liberty...but this day and age sadly it will probably happen.

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