The ignorance of social media

Daniel Magalit

Recently, The Sacramento Bee posted images and a few articles on its Facebook page about protests throughout the country the night Darren Wilson was not indicted.

As I read comments like, “Brown’s parents should have taught him better” and “the ‘homies’ should stop attacking whites,” I was outraged.

I was forced to wonder why anyone would think that was the issue. Why would parenting skills or the safety of white people make killing black people OK?

One Facebook user said, “[Mike Brown] was a thug and the world is a better place. Now, if we can just get the homies to stop stealing, attacking whites and cops and carrying on like savages… that would be great.”

I wrote the following in response:

“It does not matter what Mike Brown did. He was unarmed and still shot several times by a cop. White men have killed multiple people and have lived to talk about it. But if I steal a candy bar I’m a thug and I deserve to die?!?! Where is the logic in that?

Why is it that this country and its people do not understand that being white means privilege and being anything other than white means struggle, inequality and injustices? And if you feel like I’m wrong then you have not really seen the world around you.”

If I were to make a list of every black person killed in this country, or every person that has died to build this country, you would be reading for days and days and days.

The truth of the matter is, as a man of color, I know what it is like to be viewed as a threat. I know what it feels like to walk in predominantly white neighborhoods and have people threaten to call the police.

Ignorance, of what seems to be a characteristic of most Americans, is the issue at hand. It is not just Ferguson or Mike Brown, it is not just Trayvon Martin or Oscar Grant.

The issue is that most of America cannot see past the color of our skin. The issue is that my skin tone criminalizes me and makes it justified to be walking home and killed by man with a gun. The issue is that I could be unarmed and shot at because someone felt like I was a threat, and no one would blink an eye.

The issue is that people who have not walked in my shoes do not understand what it feels like to live in a country that does not value my life. The issue is that people feel like they can say things like get rid of the ‘homies’ or feel that an entire culture has not progressed in the past hundred years.

No, I do not condone looting and I’m just as upset at those people who have taken advantage of a very sad situation, but I know exactly how the rioters feel. I understand that anger. I have that anger. I have that sadness. I have those tears in my eyes too and I feel that pain.

It is unnerving to know that the country I was born and raised in will not protect my rights, the same rights given to every American. The rights the Constitution says I should have.

I should not have to ‪‎worry for the safety of my yet to be conceived ‪‎children. I should not have to worry that because my children won’t be white, they’ll be seen as criminals. I should not have to worry about my own ‪‎safety. I should not have to worry about how this ‪‎country treats me. I should not have to worry about anything but being a ‪‎good ‪‎person.