Tribute to Alton Sterling: We are the minority

Multiple gunshots penetrated the onlookers’ ears. Blood sprouted and smeared the front of a silver car. One police officer laid on the floor, his gun still aimed at the dying man.

That dying man’s name? Alton Sterling. Get used to it. You’re going to be hearing it for a while. And you should be. Sterling’s name needs to resonate in our nation for years to come. He’s another Black victim of police brutality. He’s another father who needs to be buried. He’s another son that will be missed. He’s another cousin who families won’t see at barbecues and joyful occasions. And he’s another reminder that our nation has a long way to go.

Sterling can be seen in the video with two officers atop him, forcing and pressing him to the ground. While squirming, as anyone would, one of the officers shouts “Gun!” Then he threatens to shoot. And then he shoots. And then he continues shooting. Sterling is last seen flailing his arm in the air, trying to grasp the atrocity inflicted and maintain what little life he has left.

If you’re not worried about police brutality, you should be. These gut-wrenching instances won’t stop. While many in our nation are shouting for gun control, we have armed, ferocious monsters hiding behind badges and authority inflicting chaos upon our citizens. I don’t hate law enforcement, but they’re people. And if we’re regulated, they need to be regulated too. They’re susceptible to mental illnesses, rage, and any other conflicting element that may cause barbarism.

Police brutality against blacks has plagued and embittered this nation. Statistics from 2015 show that unarmed Blacks were killed at five times the rate of unarmed Whites.  69% of them were unarmed, and an alarming 97% of the time no officers were charged with any crime. That’s disturbing.  If 69% of them were unarmed, how are 97% of these cases exonerating these officers? I’m not against the police force, and I’m not saying that they don’t have a lot on their plates, but this is confounding.

These numbers don’t include 2016 yet. But they do include people like Michael Brown and Eric Garner. Brown was unjustly shot, and Garner was suffocated to death. His memorable chant of “I can’t breathe” was stitched onto shirts and displayed for the world to see.

And pretty soon, none of us will be able to breathe. We’ll all be pinned down with guns shoved in our faces. We’ll all be shot at. Why? Because we’re all the minority. The majority is the unjust, and the minority is us, the people who are against these heinous acts and who are trying diligently to end them. The people who are at the mercy of this ruthlessness. The people who must band together to return peace and justice to all.

One day, the injustice will be at your doorstep. You’ll be thrown to the ground and tossed around like an old doll. You’ll be deprived of your rights and stripped of your dignity. Wouldn’t you want the world to hear your claim and stake your plight in their minds? I know I would.

The gunshots still ring in my ears. I wasn’t there, but I feel like I was. And honestly, if we don’t realize that we’re the minority, and that this plague will reach all of us one day, it’ll only be so long until it does. Our futures reside within the screams of Garner. They’re staring at us in the pool of blood beneath Sterling. And they’re awaiting our response. It’s time we unify, end oppression and seek justice for all. History is waiting to be written. Hopefully we can give it a good ending.

About Jamal Cadoura 9 Articles
Jamal Cadoura is a Palestinian American residing in Dearborn, Michigan. Improving humanity is what he lives for. In his spare time, he reads and writes as much as he can. Jamal formerly ran a nonprofit organization, Pens For Peace, and is an author of two novels.

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