This Tightrope That I'm Balancing On Dec 15, 2014

The year 2014 is coming to an end, and it has graced us with a year filled with crazy, exciting and some simply ridiculous stories of compassionate humanitarians who stood up for what they believed in, absurd incidents involving social media, and of course,  a whole lot of twerking. Unfortunately, the past year also carried with it an overweight luggage containing many disturbing incidents of racial profiling that simply cannot be forgiven, yet, has. Amid all the confusion and controversy I find myself consistently asking one question: why? To further elaborate on the subject: why did it happen? Why did we have to lose lives in order to promote equality? Why do we still face such racial stigma in the twenty-first century? 

Tamir Rice, Michael Brown and Eric Garner. The decision to attack all of these men of African descent by Caucasian police officials, were made within a heartbeat. Some deaths were painfully slower than others but the actions taken by these police officers were made within seconds, and the argument is whether their deeds are justifiable. 

Taking the information that is available to the public into consideration, it is evident that without the officers familiarizing themselves with the affected victims, the only conclusion behind their reasoning is racial profiling. As a person of coloured skin, I understand and sympathize with the outraged protestors who took to the streets to voice the words of the ill-fated victims who could not themselves. It is never okay to kill someone for who they are, especially because of something that cannot be controlled, such as skin colour. 

On the contrary, the main opposing argument was that the actions against the victims were to ensure the safety of the officers. This argument to me is barely substantial, however, my main concern is the necessity of taking such sudden actions. There must have been something more that provoked the police officers to do what they did, because it is difficult for me to believe that the American police force would hire so many presumably, hot headed service men and hand them firearms. It just does not seem to add up, and I suppose it never will, because life is too abstract and too ambiguous to ever understand why such things happen. 

I see this situation as though I am struggling to balance on a tightrope and I am too afraid to fall on either side because I cannot see what is at the bottom. As much as I stand for fairness and equality, I know I must respect the justice system because its rules and regulations are why society is able to function. I don’t know who really is at fault here but I am sure of one thing; life is precious and every life matters. I believe that once this is realized, there would no longer be cases of racial profiling or discrimination of any kind. Until then I, along with many other people, must learn to perfect our balancing acts. 

Will the situation ever change? Will Martin Luther King Jr’s dream ever come true?  Well, the protesting did gather a few positive consequences; it acquired President Barack Obama’s support as he stated during an interview that aired on BET “As long as they’re peaceful, I think they [the protests]’re necessary”.  In, addition, the United States has released new guidelines and replaced the old ones which states the prohibition of profiling on the basis of religion, national origin and other characteristics. This was a major step forward and gives me hope for the future being the wishful thinker that I am. I believe that one day we will definitely be able to attain world peace and you know what? 2015, I’m ready for you.

By: Masoomeh Sherazee

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