Welcome Back, Everyone!
With the recent events, I have decided to steer this week’s focus away from my new senior project topic and back to my original topic. I conducted two interviews this week but I will post about them in later blogs.
George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Philando Castile. Sean Bell. These are just a few names out of many African Americans who have died at the hand of some police officers’ inability to do their job without allowing their implicit bias to cloud their judgment. If you recall, my original project title was “Bridging the Gap.” Bridging the Gap is an event that brings together youth and NYPD personnel to engage in fun activities with one another while allowing for public discourse regarding the relationship between youth and police. These events serve as a forum that allows youth and NYPD officers to discuss their differences while at the same time realizing that they have many things in common. The goal is to humanize each group in the eyes of the other. Seeing the recent events made me think about the conversations that could be happening right now in different communities.
As I am typing this blog post, I am watching CNN on the news. CNN is broadcasting live protests across the country. It’s heartbreaking to watch, in my opinion. Tears started to flow from my eyes as I watched the CNN building be vandalized and a firecracker went through its window. On the other side, there were police officers. I believe these protests are warranted but not at the cost of more lives. watching these protests almost gives me hope for mankind but at the same makes me wonder about the change we want to see in the world. Watching police precincts be burned down and police cars being set on fire only makes me wonder where the money to rebuild and replace these things will come from. Yes we are protesting for a good cause, but breaking down things that are paid for by the local government doesn’t help the rest of the city. Looking into the future, I believe we will see city programs stripped of money, including those concerning community building/outreach. Once this happens, then what? Yes, we’re protesting, but at what cost? The cost of so many lives. But we are also looking to bring justice to those who died because of these injustices. As Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stated, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” In terms of law enforcement, I believe we fail to realize that not all police officers are the same but once someone sees that blue uniform or that badge, they’re automatically labeled as the enemy.
Hosting a Bridging the Gap during this time would’ve definitely been rough, however, it may have given community members a chance to ask questions and attempt to understand what’s happening right now.
Pictured above is a NYPD police van that was set on fire.