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Cops and racism

In the past few months, there have been several accounts of cops gunning down African-Americans all over the country – from the Michael Brown shooting to the “murder” of Walter Scott.

These shootings have caused uprisings, as well as peaceful, and not so peaceful, protests across the nation.

The shooting of Brown in August 2014 sparked protests across the country, and while most were peaceful, a few turned violent.

The Baltimore protests began due to the death of Freddie Gray. Police cars were smashed, police officers were injured, stores (like CVS pharmacy) were looted and lit on fire, and people on the streets (including 14-year-olds) chanted “no justice, no peace, no racist police.”

First of all, this is not the “Hunger Games.” We are not a bunch of oppressed little people under the government’s shoes. We have the freedom of speech and press, so use these freedoms properly.

Now let us address the overbearing topic: racist cops.

Ah yes, my favorite word – racist. This word has been thrown around so much I sometimes forget what it really means.

What police officer, knowing the consequences of such an unjust act, would commit the crime anyway?

Freshman Michelle Lau says, “I don’t think that cops would risk their jobs and lives just to murder someone because of their skin color. Maybe in the 1940’s, but we’re in the 21st century now”.

Stereotypes play a big role in society. In most cases, issues like racism arise from stereotypes, and many people believe that cops follow these stereotypes. However, stereotypes do arise from some sort of truth.

Most police officers use their daily interactions to associate certain races with certain crimes. So yes, they do use stereotypes.

But what about the stereotype that all cops are racist? Of course, many incidents of black shootings will cause people to question the moral value of police officers, but to quickly assume that all cops are racist -and then start shooting at them – is ridiculous.

The murder of the two NYPD cops, the murder of the two Mississippi police officers, the New York cop that lost his life just last week. What justice do these cops get? What point is being proven by murdering cops that have nothing to do with civilian shootings?

The murders of these cops are considered hate crimes, committed with the idea that all cops are racist.

I am not saying that all cops are great and we should let them shoot anyone up if they feel like it. There were a lot of lives taken wrongfully and justice should be served. Black lives DO matter, as does any other race.

But the constant use of the word “racist” needs to stop. “Racist” is a word fueled with so much anger, hatred and oppression. Use the word when all evidence proves that someone is racist; otherwise, do not use the word at all.

So, what does racism mean to you?

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