Americans have become numb to the bloody trail of misery and death which surrounds this lifeless nation. It is disheartening to think of how capriciously people shrug their shoulders when it comes to the desensitized “value” of life around them. Lawmakers and politicians overlook the outright assassinations of countless black boys by the men in blue and even worse, the senseless murders committed within the African-American race as victims continue to be killed by their own kind. With little to no significance on the worth of an individual, a continual message is conveyed which confirms that life has no value in America.
Interpersonal and institutionalized racism has left Black America in a perilous position. Not only are they automatically viewed as suspicious by much of the world, but they are prey to the overload of gun violence within their own communities, leaving them at risk any time they walk out of their door. As people pause to consider the number of victims filling the nation’s hospitals, prisons, and morgues, it becomes overwhelmingly clear that humanity has lost value in America.
The stereotyped perception of the black man reveals how African-Americans are unjustly and disproportionately viewed in society. Systematic racism has framed the view of this tortured community. The circumstances surrounding the death of so many unarmed black men represent a much larger issue which refuses to humanize black victims due to the integral guilt attributed to this race because of the color of their skin.
According to police video footage, the view of Black America is so tainted that police “feel” threatened when no weapon is seen or when watching its victim run away, or while they are subdued and cannot move. Sadly, these members of society are perceived as threats simply because of the color of their skin. In fact, the point is not just that black lives can be disposed of so easily, but more importantly, they are targeted and even hunted down by a police force that is becoming increasingly encouraged to wage its race war by every grand jury decision that sanctions its behavior. The conclusion suggests that justifying lethal violence in the name of self-defense is reserved only for those who have a publicly recognized self to defend, unlike the average African-American.
Society is permeated with fear and violence as senseless murders continue to plague this nation. There was a time when life mattered; a day when hearses were seen going down the street in a funeral procession and men would pause and tip their hats. Yes, that is a long time ago, but at one time was the norm. Today people rarely even blink as dead bodies pass them. Drivers are so wrapped up in their own situations that they no longer pull over to allow a funeral procession to pass by. In many cases, they see it as just another dead ni**a who can no longer taint their streets.
People are more concerned about animals than the average human’s existence. With the influx of terrorism, suicide, war, racial violence and genocide, life has lost its value and become nothing more than a disposable commodity. The deliberate ending of a life means absolutely nothing in many instances; however, should someone kill a dog or harm another member of the animal kingdom the world becomes enraged. Contrariwise, these same people often justify the “unjust” murders plaguing the African-American community.
What happened to the mentality of American citizens that life has become so cheap? This is an accurate assumption given how easy it has become to take the life of another individual. Where has the “sanctity of life” gone when the protection of other people’s unique being mattered? This concept of the inviolability of others used to be an important tie between religious values and “the law of the land.” Now it is no longer important to regard the life of another human with great value; instead, many believe they can destroy the lives of others with impunity.
It seems the streets of this great country which carries the motto “Land of the Free” and “Home of the Brave” has become a type of boot camp designed to destroy existing norms and customs. People have been pushed into a new way of life which readily accepts a corrupt set of values that embrace death, violence, and destruction. This new standard has desensitized the average American to the importance of life allowing blood stained streets to be accepted as a normal and essential survival skill in this brutal world.
It is time to stop fueling communities which are different with slurs of masked racism. Without a doubt, police brutality is a serious problem within this country and anyone that denies this truth is a part of the problem. However, equally important are the issues of violent criminality within all communities. Until this becomes part of the ongoing conversation, change will never be realized and the value of life will continue to diminish. The great news is… it is not too late to change the script!
WARNING….Video Contains Explicit Content!
Opinion by Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
Vision: The Sanctity of Life
Top Image Courtesy of Ben Murphy Online – Flickr License
Inline Image Courtesy of Mike Licht – Flickr License
Featured Image Courtesy of Michael Fleshman – Flickr License