Profiling must end for healing to begin

Queen Brown | 2/27/2014, 9 a.m.

The civil right movement was successful in reducing racial disparities in systems, policies and services that used to promote white supremacy in America. However, by no means has racism been eradicated; it just became subtle and camouflaged. Racism is alive and well in America and we must make sure our children are aware of this fact. Although racial discrimination is illegal in America and punishable by law it is usually disguised as an organizational policy, state mandate or law such as the infamous “Stand Your Ground.”

The Jordan Davis trial has once again stirred the discussion of racial profiling in America. Hair locks worn by African Americans carry the same stigma as the Sikh Turban. Rap music is often misunderstood as gangster music. Unfortunately our fears and perceptions of other people are real in our heads. The problem is even more disturbing when a jury can support unjustified fears by law and allow murders to go free.

Maybe you have never disrespected, injured or shot anyone because of their race or ethnicity. However, some of us are guilty of profiling and stereotyping other races even if we do not say it or act on it. However, we must take a self-assessment and examine our fears or beliefs about others. Nevertheless, we must resist acting out on our fears, especially when the end result is insulting or harmful to another person. Even if the law will support our fear and justify our actions it does not make our actions right or even smart. Often when we are so quick to come to a conclusion about another person or culture, the consequence may backfire. I am sure Michael Dunn will not enjoy spending even one day in prison for fearing something that clearly was a figment of his imagination. So this law is not good for white people, Black people or any other people. This law is disturbing and can be self-destructive.

Laws that justify this type of behavior must be abolished. We must check ourselves in order to understand why these types of tragedies are occurring and how to prevent them from reoccurring. If not, anyone of us, regardless of race, ethnicity or culture might just end up behind the defendant’s table attempting to prove something that wasn’t there. Sometimes, what we are carrying in our hearts is more deadly than what is in our holster or glove compartment.