The more I thought about it, the more outraged I became.
Images are important. The photo of three black teenagers in handcuffs for selling water at the National Mall should be an outrage. Yet, it just passes as another day in America for black youth. Just another routine day in Black America.
Last week, at the “Enough is Enough” rally at the Alex Haley-Kunta Kinte Memorial, I remember the words of a 17-year-old African-American high schooler who talked of her peers’ feelings about the police. Her comments were raw and unfiltered. She made it clear that her peers did not think highly about the police. As she spoke, I thought about those handcuffed black boys and the bitterness they must have felt toward the police.
There is a reality that is not lost on our young people. They see the Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, Trayvon Martin and countless other black people who died under controversial circumstances.
I thought about my own youth and how in my teenage days, there would have been a major response from black leaders to this incident.
Something is terribly wrong. The response from some of the people who posted on this matter was ridiculous and racist to say the least. Yet, I am less concerned about those bigots and more concerned about our lack of response. Did the Congressional Black Caucus make a statement? Did national black organizations say or do anything?
Our youth should not be subject to disparate treatment. There is a growing anger in black youth and it is important that black leaders speak up and speak out before it is too late.
Selling cold water on a hot sweltering day in Washington, D.C. should not subject you to arrest; it should be awarded for ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit.
“Enough is Enough” is not just a motto; it should be our line in the sand.
A Luta Continua!
Carl Snowden is a political and civil rights leader in Annapolis.
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