Once again, the same incidents dominate the media, in particular surrounding the situation about the United States police and the racial tension against the black community.
It’s a topic that I have pondered over many a times and I find myself asking the following question… is racism really abolished? Maybe this will answer my question.
‘I can’t breathe’
The infamous phrase was one of the last words of an unarmed black father, Eric Garner. Eric Garner died due to a ‘chokehold’ position a police officer in the United States of America put him in. Garner’s death followed after the shooting of an unarmed teenager, Michael Brown on August 14th 2014. Both incidents marked a pivotal point in Black history as they instigated outrage and racial tension between the police and the African-American community in America.
But is this a debate of discrimination or just bad policing in the United States of America?
If it is a sign of bad policing, is it just a coincidence that “Black people were about four times as likely to die in custody or while being arrested as whites.” (MoJo) – need I say more about the Sandra Bland controversy?
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Sandra Bland situation, here’s what you need to know…
Sandra Bland, 28 was pulled over by a policeman in Texas after she switched lanes on July 10. Policeman Brian Encinia asked Bland to put out her cigarette, however she refused as it wasn’t illegal. Following this, Encinia attempted to move Bland from the vehicle without any reason and wanted to arrest her. Eventually, Sandra Bland got out of her car according to video footage released by the police and was sent to a prison cell. Why? Who knows? Sadly on July 13, Sandra Bland was reported dead as a result of suicide.
Was this a racist move on behalf of the police officer?
I guess it is easy to say that Sandra Bland’s arrest could have been fuelled by an act of racism, but was that the case?
There are two sides to any argument; arguably Encinia could have arrested Bland because of her disobedience to get out of the car. At the end of the day don’t the police have the right to give orders? Is this not in their job description?
Debates over the racial tensions and the police continue in the U.S., but is there an answer? No one knows an individual’s personal agenda, if it is racist or not. But it is an issue that cannot be blindsided, especially taking into consideration how far society has come in gaining equal rights for those of a different skin colour. Racism was abolished but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist in the twenty-first century.
As always Urban Echo wants to hear from you, so why not put your opinion forward by contacting us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
By Qainaat Aftab