In 1863 Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, in 1865 the Civil War Ended, and in the same year President Lincoln was assassinated. In 1870 the 5th Amendment was ratified to state that the "right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” In 1955 The African American Civil Rights Movement began, in 1965 the Voting Rights Act was passed, guaranteeing all US citizens 21 years of age and older the right to vote, and in 1968 Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed simply for fighting for what he knew was right.
Most recently, on February 26, 2012, a 17-year-old African American boy, carrying nothing but Skittles for his younger brother and a can of Arizona Iced Tea, was shot to death by a twenty something white Neighborhood Watch captain, for no apparent reason. The “captain” wasn’t even taken into custody. The boy’s parents are currently fighting for an arrest. They’ve lost a child, and have yet to receive any justice.
Now it’s amazing, and disgusting, that 149 years after African Americans were freed from slavery, people are still sick with ignorance; sick enough to kill an innocent CHILD, because he looked “suspicious;” suspicious meaning he was black and outside after the sun had set.
Yes, there are criminals in this world, but criminals come from all backgrounds and races. Contrary to the negative belief that all African Americans walking at night are “thugs,” this is far from the case. It’s honestly just more upsetting, than anything else, that people are still prejudice against others in 2012, and what is even more disappointing is that things may never change.
I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to judge others by the color of their skin, because I grew up in an accepting environment, free of this ignorance. Two of my cousins, who are more like siblings to me and whom I love very much, are half African American. They both have beautiful families and successful careers and it hurts my heart that at one time or another in their life they have been judged because of the color of their skin. I feel sad for any person who considers themselves better than someone else of a different race. It’s 2012, not 1912, and I think it’s time that everyone learns to accept others, and rid themselves of presumptions and stereotypes.