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Clemente Writings

Race War in America and Abuse of Power

First of all, let me begin by saying that we were already living in a world where our whole country was so divided before the coronavirus pandemic. Statistics have shown that thousands and thousands of innocent lives have been lost due to the coronavirus that has affected the entire United States and the world, and it will continue to rise before 2021.

However, let’s not forget to mention the increase in death tolls because of racism that has created a war in America over the peaceful protests and riots over police brutality. I am not stating that there are no good police officers.

For instance, a Hollywood Insider article says in 2006, Officer Cariole Horne and Officer Gregory Kwiatkowski responded to a call. Horne did not know that this call would change her life forever. During the arrest of Neal Mack, Officer Kwiatkowski attempted to get Mack in a chokehold. Horne intervened and stopped the situation from escalating from a simple arrest to murder. Carol Horne saved Neal Mack’s life and prevented yet another tragedy at the hands of a white officer. Officer Kwiatkowski punched Officer Horne for interfering and not allowing him to choke a Black man. Officer Horne was fired. She lost nearly twenty years of her career and her pension as well for standing up against excessive force in the policing system.

The point is that one bad cop spoils all the good cops who will risk everything to do what is right. But it can be very complicated for minorities to trust the police in communities and around the country. Meaning, that us minority people, we can’t tell nowadays which of are bad or good cops because of the bad reputations of police departments around the country. And the police departments failed to act against their own fellow police officers who committed these crimes when it comes to police brutality and murder. They have been getting away with it for decades and cover it up for them.  

People are angry and furious, saying, “Enough is enough.” This is why protesters are marching: to make an effort to defund the police departments and to find a solution to fix this broken justice system. Part of this is reallocating these funds to provide public housing for low-income families with children, education and public safety for our community, and youth programs to keep our minority children off the streets and keep everyone safe.

As the race war continues, the Black Lives Matter movement has grown stronger, using their voices to fight for the innocent unarmed Black men, women, and children that died due to racism and racial profiling at the hands of the police officers and their abuse of power and the broken justice system that failed to protect them. In an article from Huffpost Black Voices, “These 15 Black Women Were killed During Police Encounters. Their Lives Matter, Too,” Kate Abbey-Lambertz mentioned a list of Black women who were killed by police officers. For example, on October 3, 2013, Miriam Careyage, 34, of Washington, D.C. was shot and killed by the Secret Service and Capitol Police after a high-speed chase. She drove her car into a security checkpoint near the White House, refusing orders to stop. Officers fired multiple shots at Carey. Her one-year-old daughter was in the car at the time and survived. 

I think that the Black Lives Matter movement creates hope for change in the broken justice system with calls to defund the police, to end police brutality, racism and violence against African-Americans and other minorities before the situation escalates into a “Race War.” I truly believe that the BLM movement is so important in our community because it is not a political issue but a civil rights issue. We as the minority people need to stand up for what is right, to lift our voices in order to bring justice for the victims like George Floyd and those were beaten, shot, and murdered at the hands of police through their abuse of power and racial profiling.

As I have mentioned in the beginning, during this pandemic thousands and thousands of people have died due to the complications of COVID-19. New coronavirus cases and death tolls are still on the rise and more people will die. At the end of the day, our lives do matter. We are human beings. If everyone can stop the hate and the violence because of the color of our skin, come together in unity, show love, and help each other, we can be at peace and stay alive before this pandemic ends in a civil war.

We, Too, Are America is made possible through “Democracy and the Informed Citizen,” an initiative administered by the Federation of State Humanities Council through a grant from the Mellon Foundation.

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