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Racism in America: Citizens taking a stand

Recently, the United States has suffered from some serious racism conflicted events that have stirred some serious media attention. Two heavily media-covered events were the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. These two tragic stories have shared two serious commonalities: both men died at the hands of police officers and both victims were African-American. Since the deaths were both during this past year, both have circulated the media together and both tragedies have caused extreme outrage from American citizens.

Protesters campaigned in St. Louis after the death of 18 year-old Michael Brown, while New Yorkers filled Times Square; many were outraged with the jury’s decision to not indict, Darren Wilson, the police officer who killed Brown.

Tens of thousands of people have been protesting Brown and Garner’s deaths across the U.S. CBC news reported that the focus of these protests is not only to get justice for Brown and Garner but to show that “black lives matter.”

It is extremely depressing that racism is still an issue in 2015. All that we may hope for are that the cases of Michael Brown and Eric Garner’s deaths are examined with scrutiny, and that further cases like these do not take place in 2015. Another concern, however, is that any protests become violent or uncivil, which can lead to further tragedy.

Nonetheless, it is great to see individuals whether it be an average citizen, to a well known celebrity, standing up for these deaths in peaceful ways. Athletes, it seems, have been speaking up in creative ways: LeBron James wore an “I Can’t Breathe” shirt during warm up at the Brooklyn game, Derrick Rose was spotted sporting the same shirt, and so has several NFL players including David Joseph, guard for the St. Louis Rams. LeBron James also instagrammed a drawing of Michael Brown walking arm in arm with Trayvon Martin- Martin was an African-American teenager shot and killed by George Zimmerman almost three years ago- with title, “As a society how do we do better and stop things like this from happening time after time!! I’m so sorry for these families. Violence is not the answer people. Retaliation isn’t the solution as well. #PrayersUpToTheFamilies #WeHaveToDoBetter.”

Although, the main focus has been on these American deaths, on Saturday in Toronto Canadians protested the unfair and brutal way that they say the Toronto Police has treated minority groups. This current example shows that racism problems are everywhere, even in our own country and close to home.

By: Alana Bates

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