Oh shoot… not again: institutionalized racism in America still alive


Observer File Photo. Photo by LuAnna Gerdemann.

Alton Sterling. Philando Castile. Both black males. Both armed. Both killed by the police.
Sterling, 37, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana was selling CDs outside of a convenience store when he was apprehended, tackled, and killed by two police officers.
Castile, 32, of Falcon Heights, St. Paul, Minnesota was pulled over for a broken taillight when he was killed by a police officer.
In both cases, the possession of a firearm came into play. The officer shot Sterling when it was made known that Sterling had a gun on him, even though Sterling never reached for his gun at any point in the encounter.
Castile had a registered firearm in possession. As he was reaching for his license and registration in his pocket that the officer asked him for, his girlfriend who was in the car with him let the officer know that he had a registered firearm on his person. The officer shot Castile multiple times.
Now here’s my question. Where is the NRA to protect these men’s second amendment rights? How can they preach on and on about their Second Amendment rights after a mass shooting occurs, but when it comes to the unjust killing of two black men, they are no where to be found? The Second Amendment is also now, a white privilege.
What I don’t understand is how police can literally kill a black man on the streets without probable cause, but a white man gets a measly 6 months in prison for rape. What I don’t understand is how white America becomes absolutely outraged at the killing of a zoo gorilla, but turns the other way when a black man is murdered by law enforcement. What I don’t understand is how I can watch videos of white men fighting back at law enforcement, resisting arrest, and even punching a cop in the face, yet, they are still alive today.
The past two days I have been so angry. I have been so tired. I have been so sick of frustration with America’s failure to recognize the problem our country is facing when it comes to law enforcement and communities of color. Being black is now a crime in America, and is punishable by death.
The fact of the matter is, America is still not recognizing the institutional racism that exists. We are still not recognizing the injustice of our justice system. We pledge allegiance to a flag that promises “liberty and justice for all.” We get fired up on the Fourth of July praising our country’s freedom and the “land of opportunity” that we exist in.
Unfortunately, that is not the American narrative that Alton Sterling and Philando Castile got to experience in their lifetime. That is not the American narrative that Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, or Tamir Rice got to experience in their lifetime.
The American civil rights of freedom, opportunity, liberty, and justice means nothing to those who suffer from the institutionalized racism of this country.