Clear racial profiling and abusive treatment of communities of color does little to reduce crime or make people in the community feel safer. Instead, it provokes the opposite — creating an aggressive environment of complete mistrust, confrontation, and anger. People of color who are stopped and searched over and over and over again, having done nothing wrong, rightly come to view the police as an oppressive, even illegitimate, force in their lives and communities.
The protests that break out on the streets in the aftermaths of killings are not just about the latest individual case, but the lack of trust in a system of policing and criminal justice that justice needs to be put back into. The protests are about accountability in an age where police who use excessive force and act outside the law that they pledge to protect are almost never held accountable.
Just this summer, a federal court struck down the North Carolina law, ruling that certain provisions of it “target African Americans with almost surgical precision.” The court added, “With race data in hand, the legislature amended the bill to exclude many of the alternative photo IDs used by African Americans” and “retained only the kinds of IDs that white North Carolinians were more likely to possess.” Yet, importantly, restrictive voter ID laws in a number of other states remain on the books, and will be in place for Election Day.
Most importantly, I got to put my boys to bed most nights of their lives. Almost every night, we would say a prayer and goodnight with quick conversations about the day, the next day, or baseball. That’s why it was hard to turn off the bedside light when we came home — without being able to say goodnight.
If an agreement is reached between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the current generation of Colombian youth will have a chance to see something they’ve never fully experienced before – peace.