According to Bill O’Reilly, a syndicated columnist and also the host of the political commentary program The O’Reilly Factor, the reason Trayvon Martin died is because he dressed a certain way. And that way is how “gangstas” look, so therefore he got attention and for that reason he lost his life. As he states on his show, “It would be nice if they did extend the story into the why of it rather than the what of it. The cause and effect needs to be addressed. If you want to stop these things then you have to solve the problem, which is not white people hunting down blacks.” If the idea of racism was analyzed more in depth I think a lot of people’s views would be different. The fact that Trayvon was a child was forgotten and the system once again refused justice to another African American young man. What do we have to do or say to get the rights that we have so greatly fought for all of these years? In 2013 we still are discriminated against.
Further examination of the case and the way it actually happened was done in a nonchalant manner. When it comes to something being done to the African American race, this always seems to be the case. The largest form of discrimination seems to fall back on the prison systems. If we make one mistake and go to prison, we suffer because of that for the rest of our lives. Black males between the ages of 30-34 have the highest incarceration rate of any race/ethnicity. Furthermore, because of being incarcerated, they face hardships when trying to start over and begin a new path. Society portrays this idea of American Individualism and taking responsibility for one’s actions, which is very understandable but also very ignorant in a sense. Of course individuals should take responsibility for things they have done and take ownership, but it falls back on society when there is no opportunity to attempt to make a better life.
Our society is failing to provide educational and economic opportunity to poor young black men in the inner city. That needs to change. Question is: when will it change? The problem is that it probably will never change because it is not looked at as a necessity. Prison and punishment have become the number one option in today’s society’s eyes. See, blacks have always been an oppressed race, and as far as the government is concerned, the best way to deal with that is to lock them up and throw away the key. It could be something as simple as being in the wrong place at the wrong time and a young black man’s dreams of becoming a college football star or even a businessman are shattered that quickly.
The purpose of this is not to complain about something that I have no power in changing but to bring to light what most of the”99 percent” feel. We do have a voice and it should be heard. The fact that society will probably never change when it comes to discrimination has become very personal to me. Not because I am in fact African-American but because I am an African-American who has to walk on eggshells just to get by. One mistake could ruin my dreams and aspirations to become successful. This is something that most young people do not take the time out to realize, but it is important that if all else fails I can continue on my path knowing that at least I tried. If I was born in the 1800’s I wouldn’t even dare speak of this topic, but because I am a young African American woman in 2013 I can speak my truth and encourage my peers to fight peacefully for what they believe in. We should be empowering one another but instead we choose to disempower each other and forget the real reason we are here. That is something they will have to dig deep into themselves to find.