Thursday, December 11, 2014

I Can't Breathe

Just this afternoon I stumbled upon the 'I can't breathe' video. I watched as Eric Garner went from arguing his side of the story with cops, who think that he is selling untaxed cigarettes. This could very well be. I was not there, I do not know the story. What I do know is that man died. What I do know is that the man was killed in July and it took until just last week for people to notice what was going on. With the events of Ferguson, of course other stories in the news are not as noticeable, but the stories look to be the same from a viewers perspective. Two innocent black men killed by a member of the police force.

Every part of me hopes and wishes that the crimes committed were anything but hate crimes, but sadly that is just the way works. Numerous times in the past months I've heard comments like "The police only want to protect themselves.." or "The police serve as a threat more than protection". Both of these comments made me think about those in the police force that I know. I began to label those I know with the hurtful adjectives I hear from others. This was a stupid experiment, and I wanted to answer those 'hated' on the police forces.

Generalization, not only a fallacy, but a problem that our world has. Last year in psychology I learned that a generalization is after having an experience, similar experiences make you act or respond in the same way and you begin to feel the same even though the situations are different.

To give a few examples of the ways that the situation has been appropriately handled, alternatively from riots or violent protests or dehumanizing all police forces or even saying anything at all, a silent stand was taken by basketball teams across the US.

From Washington D.C. to Los Angeles, 'I can't breathe' t-shirts were worn by teams in a silent protest. I believe that this is freedom, this protest is civil and more people will stop and listen. On the other hand, with the riots in East St. Louis, scaring the world with burning down the city is not the way to get attention neither order nor freedom. 

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