Why can't we as Americans do better? Why in 2016, are police officers killing citizens unnecessarily? And why in 2016, is the best solution to our systematic problems a hashtag? Or the senseless killings of police officers?
This antiquated dichotomy of "us versus them" needs to stop. How many more lives need to be lost before we realize there are better solutions out there? How many more mothers and daughters need to cry before we stop the killing?
I am speechless to see the killing of citizens. Yet, I am puzzled as to why people think a hashtag or a protest is meaningful or impactful. If you want your views to be impactful, go out and take meaningful action. In order to have a meaningful impact, you need to have a seat at the table. We, as citizens, need to get involved with our politics. We cannot leave it politicians, like former Senator Robert Byrd, who was a member of the KKK to make policy changes; we need to get involved with politics for those policy changes to occur. But -- that is only a part of the puzzle.
We, as a society, need to become more involved. Period. If you believe our media is racist considering events like the portrayal of a white rapist like Brock Turner as an athlete when black killing victims are portrayed as thugs; then get involved in the media, we can do a better job. If you believe that there needs to be police reform, then get involved with your local police department. People like Jason Lai should not be employed to protect our citizen, when he is openly racist, we can do a better job. If you believe that our education system is failing, then get involved with our education system. People like Joanne Bolser should not be teaching our children, we can do a better job. If you believe that our judicial system is inherently flawed, then get involved with our judicial system. People like James B. Gosnell should not be serving as a judge protecting white racist killings; we can do a better job. But the thing is, without minorities actively seeking these jobs we will not see change fast enough. Minorities make up roughly 40% of the U.S. population. But minorities are not adequately represented in positions of power. If you want to have a meaningful voice, it is time to start working towards positions of power.
We have evolved into a society that likes to sit back and complain. Social media makes us feel that these important issues are occurring in our neighborhood which creates a sense of anger. But the anger is not constructive; we are not channeling our anger towards making a difference. Instead, Facebook quotes of men who have changed the world spring up every time there is a tragedy. But we fail to realize that these men were famous because they took action. They fought for a seat at the table and worked to make an actual difference, instead of talking about it. You're rightly justified in your outrage when you see minorities getting systematically screwed by our imperfect justice system and you're rightly justified in your outrage when you see innocent police officers getting slaughtered -- but the outrage is just lip service unless it turns into meaningful action. Enough with the hashtags, make an actual difference by gaining a seat at your local table.