As a black person in America, I want to express my disappointment with the society’s lack of awareness to the relations between black people and law enforcement. Last year, there were 14 cases of black people mysteriously dying by the hands of police or a security officer. Now with the incidents in Oklahoma, South Carolina and Baltimore, which all happened in April, this is now turning into an epidemic.

People witnessing the riots through the media continue to raise the same question: Why do black people destroy their own communities? I wonder the same thing. However, in those communities, there are frustrated people tired of law enforcement gaining the upper hand against minorities through the powers of the justice system.

The government has devised laws that give superior power to law enforcement and not make them accountable for their actions. This leaves innocent minorities living in poverty and crime-stricken areas to be targets. This is not some conspiracy theorist logic of discrimination in American. Laws that give the right to discriminate begin to rear its ugly head with such issues as immigration and the Religious Freedom Act, which allow the superior to gain the upper hand against the minority. In tense matters such as the Baltimore riots, we as a society always want to point the finger. However, we are all to blame for our nonchalant attitudes towards cultural and social issues. We are to blame for turning our backs on the disenfranchised black people, not allowing them a voice of reason. We are to blame for electing inept government officials who put these rules in place that condemn the minority. If we continue to turn a blind eye to this problem, the blood of the innocents will always paint the streets in America.

In Louisiana, we are not far from a situation like Baltimore. There are still shadows of segregation, of the civil rights movement. There are still shadows of Jena 6. I just want Louisianians to know that we have to be aware of this recurring tragedy. If not, then our state will be another grim statistic.

Patrick Galloway

plant worker

Baton Rouge