History is repeating itself

opinion

by Tomi Subulade, Guest Columnist

Unless you have been living under a rock, you probably are aware of what is going on in Ferguson, Missouri. Let me give you a little hint: HISTORY. Just in case you have indeed been living under a rock, I will break it down for you.

The African-American community is in an uproar after Mike Brown, an unarmed African-American man, was shot and killed in the street by a white cop, Darren Wilson. It happened on Sept. 9, and the protests continue.

This is not the first time an African-American has been killed because of racial profiling. Eric Garner and John Crawford are just two examples of African-American men whose deaths have been highly publicized. Trayvon Martin also was killed because of racial profiling, not by a cop, but by a neighborhood watchman.

Many people seem to want to point these killings toward anything but race, but I hate to break it to you: that is exactly what it’s about.

I know what some of you are thinking: “Racism ended a long time ago; everyone is treated equal now.” What you are suffering from is white privilege or ignorance.

A white man can shoot up an elementary school or a movie theater and be “insane,” but a black man can walk in the street holding a toy gun or be walking into the mall, and his life is deemed worthless. Suddenly, these men had it coming.

Every day, I wake up and come to school with this nagging feeling in the back of my head: “Who’s going to judge me today?”

Before a word comes out of my mouth, I am being judged as black, ratchet, a THOT or ghetto (slang words meant to offend or stereotype). Or worse, I am given this “proud black woman” standard that due to my awkwardness and social anxiety, I can never meet.

“What is she doing here?” “Look at her hair.” “Are all black people like that?” “Why does she have such an attitude?”

I am judged and given names with negative connotations simply because of the color of my skin.

Then roll call happens, and I go from ghetto-proud black woman to the exotic African refugee who probably lived in a hut and didn’t have food to eat or clean water.

No more am I simply Olutomi Subulade, the girl from Houston who wants to be a writer and has an obsession with Doctor Who.

I say all that to say this.

Mike Brown was walking to his grandmother’s house with a friend when Darren Wilson stopped him.

In a press conference, the Ferguson police chief stated that Darren Wilson knew nothing about a robbery that took place earlier that day. So Mike Brown was stopped for walking in the street; that’s hardly a crime worth the death penalty.

Mike Brown was gunned down in the street and shot six times, and then he was left there for four hours like a dog. Are people not supposed to be upset? Wouldn’t you if your son were shot to death and left in the street like roadkill?

Every day, African-American men and women are treated differently because of the color of their skin. Getting followed by employees in stores, not getting proper service and being abused by the men and women who supposedly are there to protect them.

I am Mike Brown. I could be walking back home and be considered suspicious; therefore, I don’t deserve to live.

I am Mike Brown because I am judged based on some false pretense that deems my life worthless.

The only difference between me and Mike Brown is that I got to see the age of 20.

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