“Out of sight, out of mind,” an expression used since the 13th century, seems to be a perfect title for this blog post. The fact is, police are still killing, and Blacks are still victims of racial profiling. The police are still killing us Black folk, and the world has stopped paying attention. Nearly 300 people have been shot and killed by police so far this year, according to The Washington Post’s unofficial tally. You see, this has been a reoccurring theme in Black justice history. A problem is final brought to the front of the media, the media reports it for a few months, then they move on and report something that actually gets people to watch it. Really, Black lives do not matter here. No one seems to care that we are dying and being killed, because we are Black and don’t really matter at all to this world.
On Tuesday, I attended my first City Hall meeting. There, they read the proclamation of Law Day, a day that is dedicated to having the town’s youth realize the ability we have to make a change in our community for the bettering of all citizens involved. This day is also dedicated to remembering any historical actions where the youth were the cause of change. Last year, the theme was The March to Selma, where a congregation of thousands of African Americans came together to protest for their voting rights. This year, the theme was The Children’s Crusade of 1963. We watched a 40 minute documentary about The Children’s Crusade (which you can watch here—–https://vimeo.com/83236126). This film was so empowering I cannot even begin to explain. There were so many emotions that were brought out of me: sadness, anger, fear, happiness, and the most powering, pride. Pride for the kids who looked like me taking a stance for rights that now, are benefiting me. Rights that protect me.
After watching the film, we had a keynote speaker come and talk to us. The speaker was the NAACP President of the Nebraska-Iowa chapter, her name is Betty Andrews. Now, if you know me, then you should realize what a huge deal it is to me to have had this specific speaker. Andrews had us shout a repetition of empowering phrases.
Dream big, Dream bold!
Yolo, do it now!
You can do it!
And the most important, I CAME FOR CHANGE!
Side note: After hearing her speak, I approached her and said, “I want your job.” She laughed and we exchanged contact information, and she told me that I would be great for the role of the Youth NAACP president of the Iowa-Nebraska region, how exciting!
Photo of Betty C. Andrews
Needless to say, Andrews got us pumped up and ready to go. So, we marched from the Public Library to the City Hall, escorted by police cars, and the mayor of our town, as well as multiple federal officials.
Photo by KWWL of me and friends marching in town. My sign reads, “Kids are catalysts for change.” And my friend’s sign reads, “I came for change.” The march was fun, although we did receive plenty of dirty looks from annoyed drivers.
Anyway, so back to my point. After realizing how many innocent people have been murdered by police officers across the nation, I was pissed off at first. But, after yesterday, I have been enlightened. I got to speak with multiple police officers, and I heard their side of the story, I realized that the killings are not the officers’ faults. It is our system that trains officers to be more wary of Black faces than White faces. I mean, I already knew that but it was a lot easier to be angered at police officers as a whole entity rather than the individual training departments.
I also learned that my city’s police department is integrating a racial implicit bias test for trainees before they can enter the work force. This reassured me that my city was doing something about the recent racial profiling and police brutality. I can only say that I am proud and hope this will better my community. I went for change, and I found it.