Editor Columns

Column: Just Speaking My Truth

Love Like A Child

BY LAURYN BEST

On Oct.15, 2015, a woman had seemingly witnessed a black male breaking into a car and stealing it. She called 911 and proceeded to follow the man so he wouldn’t get away with the crime. This man was Lawrence Crosby, a PhD student at Northwestern University, and he was actually fixing a loose part of his car when the witness spotted him and proceeded to call the police. Evanston police arrived on the scene and when Crosby stepped out of the car, four police officers tackled the student to the ground beating him mercilessly. On the recording of the 911 call made that night, the witness can be heard frantically telling the operator these chilling words: “I didn’t mean to like racially profile”.

Racial Profiling can be defined as “the use of race or ethnicity as grounds for suspecting someone of having committed an offense.” Though these cases are mostly talked about in regards to African Americans, they are not exclusive to them. A Syrian friend of mine’s endless stories of being “randomly selected” every time her family goes to the airport is testament to this. In actuality, since 9/11 there have only been 2 muslim terrorists on American planes. According to Bruce Schneier, a contributor for Forbs, this means the chance of a Muslim flyer committing a terrorist attack is “one in 80 million”*. In a study conducted by Mother Jones magazine, “64% of mass shootings committed since 1982 have been conducted by white males”**. About 16% of the shootings were done by black males***.

Race is not the sole factor in crime. Mental illnesses, the way a person was raised, and media intake also has an integral part in it. Weather you mean to or not, making assumptions based on generalizations/stereotypes of a group of people is extremely harmful for both parties involved. The scary truth of the matter is that this witness knew exactly what she was doing, good intentions aside. It’s the job of this generation to make the world a better place for the next to live in. It takes self-examination, humility, and courage to move past prejudices and preconceived notions and see people through a different lens. 

As children the phrase “don’t judge a book by it’s cover” is ingrained into our minds. Though humans have the tendency to get jaded by all the hardships in life, sometimes we have to revisit that time in our lives when we looked at a person’s character rather than their appearance.  

*http://www.forbes.com/sites/bruceschneier/2012/05/09/the-trouble-with-airport-profiling/#5d68b6ed1ddf
**http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/27/us/mass-shootings/ 
*** “”

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