As I turn on my television and turn on the news, I see that another unarmed young black man has been killed by the police. The first thing that comes to mind is anger, rage, and hate for how the victim will be demonized before my eyes. The stinging sense of realization that another black family has lost their child due to a justice system that breeds systematic institutionalized racism, yes I am angry but sadly not surprised. In the year 2014 under the guise of a black President and affirmative action, society as a whole has been tricked into thinking that this world we live in is a post racial society. However, no matter how hard the media tries to portray the world as a racially harmonic melting pot, we know better.

We still live in a society where black victims of violent crimes are not only portrayed in a more harsh manner than the person who brought the violence upon them, but perpetrators of violent crimes in general. For example, Adam Lanza and James Holmes both committed horrible mass shootings and killed a lot of people. The headlines would read that they were good kids, that they were mentally ill or troubled. However, when Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, and John Crawford who were all unarmed and killed, their character came into question. We didn’t hear about their hopes, their dreams, their aspirations. They were thugified and portrayed as criminals even if they had no criminal record. The pictures that were shown perpetuated this image of young black men as thugs. They were never victimized but always thugified and demonized because of a deep-seated history that black men are always doing something criminal, which in turn justified their fate.

We still live in a society where black people have to say #blacklivesmatter! Well I say no! Why should we have to prove our lives matter on a social media platform. Why should we have to be afraid to walk out of our door? Why must we walk outside holding signs to remind people that we matter, that I matter, that our kids matter? Our lives, my life matters for the simple fact that we are human beings. I have the same wants, needs, and desires as most people, yet still in 2014 we still must proclaim that our life is worth something. I’m tired of living in a society where skin color is probable cause and existing while black is a crime. What can we do because something has to change?

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