Two wrongs without a right

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Kamau Miller, Correspondent

By: Kamau Miller

Correspondent 

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This past summer George Zimmerman was acquitted of second degree murder for the shooting of Trayvon Martin an unarmed teenager in Sanford, Florida. This case caused a lot of controversy because of the “Stand Your Ground Law” in Florida giving citizens the right to use deadly force in self-defense.

The Trayvon Martin case disappointed me when I heard the not guilty verdict because it seemed clear and obvious to me that George Zimmerman was guilty. Like Trayvon Martin, I’m a 17-year-old black teenager. While this case didn’t strike fear in me, it was a huge eye opener.

Despite the fact that the United States is nearly 150 years past slavery and 50 years past segregation, there are still many instances of racism. Racial profiling was one of the main issues in this case and comes in many forms. Racial profiling is whenever race is used as a reason to target certain people. African Americans, Hispanics, and people of Arab and East Asian descent are common targets for racial profiling.

This issue appears all of the time and I believe that no one should be looked at or treated in a negative way just because of their race. A person’s ethnicity is something they’re born with and can’t control and or change so this shouldn’t be a reason to harass someone.

Me being an African American teenager, I have gone through racial profiling just walking home like Trayvon Martin. I was stopped by a police officer, questioned, searched and had to sit on the curb while the police officer ran my name. Like Trayvon Martin, I wasn’t doing anything wrong but I had no choice but to remain respectful because I realized one bad decision could land me in jail or dead. I’m just one of many people living in the United States who have experienced racial profiling. Many people have had to deal with this and a lot of the time with a severe outcome.

The main issue with racial profiling is that those who commit this act are usually in a position of power over their victims therefore it can be at times difficult to prove and prevent but some things have to be done. In New York, the stop and frisk policy which formerly made it legal for police officers to randomly stop and search people for weapons and contraband, was put to an end. The issue with this policy was that the majority of the people who were stopped and frisked were either African American or Hispanic.

While racial profiling is a serious issue, not all police officers are racist and not all people in other positions of power are racist. But it is up to our generation to stand up and make a change because there will always be problems and corruption in the world, and its up to us to stand up and make a change.