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Letter to the Editor: Killing of African-Americans by police is an American epidemic

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Protesters chant

Protesters chant "Black Lives Matter" as they march throughout the city of Charlotte, N.C., on Friday, Sept. 23, 2016, as demonstrations continue following the shooting death of Keith Scott by police earlier in the week. (Jeff Siner/Charlotte Observer/TNS)

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Protesters chant "Black Lives Matter" as they march throughout the city of Charlotte, N.C., on Friday, Sept. 23, 2016, as demonstrations continue following the shooting death of Keith Scott by police earlier in the week. (Jeff Siner/Charlotte Observer/TNS)

By Freddy Navarro

I am first and foremost deeply outraged as well as disgusted over the senseless, unnecessary brutalities and killings that have been occurring within the African-American community by the hands of those in the law enforcement field.

As a human being I can no longer walk in silence while African-Americans continue to suffer from such inequalities and eradications in the manner that they have within recent years. This letter is my protest.

I present two philosophical reflections as to why all Americans, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, (dis)ability, gender and economic statuses, should stand in solidarity with our fellow African-American brothers and sisters who are dealing with these atrocities each month as they continue to unfold when confronted by the police.

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My first thought on this matter is that this is not just an African-American issue but rather, this is an American epidemic. We should all feel connected and affected by these tragic events.

African-Americans are equally as American as any other group of citizens born and bred in this wonderful country of ours. For mainstream America to be silent and watch these despicable acts unfold is not very honorable. It is unpatriotic.

I for one am deeply disturbed to know that there exists a segment of people within our country who are currently being targeted and subjected to such discrimination, violence and murder as has been going on within the African-American community.

It is time for America to unite against these injustices and stand up for what is right. Our fellow countrymen and women are being killed by the dozens. I urge you to consider actively engaging in conversation about these practices and protocols and/or getting involved with the Black Lives Matter movement that is spreading across our country.

My second and final thought is directed to those who would or do look past the whole “American” aspect of these problems and simply choose to overlook these issues by casually writing them off as a “black” issue. To such individuals, I would somewhat concede the argument by asking: what if in the coming weeks or months, police abuse transfers to other races? Then no one would be safe.

Any random American would suddenly become fair game for the police to brutalize and/or kill, then what? If we do not stand up against it now then this whole ordeal could very easily balloon or evolve into becoming an “all” lives matter campaign.

MORE: Letter to the Editor: Dear fellow white people

I selflessly ask of you to consider my two points for support against what is happening within our borders. For if it were Asians, Mexicans or Caucasians that these impunities were happening to, then I would very much be making this same argument for them.

At the end of the day, wrong is wrong and inequality is inequality regardless of which members of society it affects.

SIU student Freddy Navarro is a senior studying university studies. He is originally from New Jersey, but has lived in southern Illinois for 15 years. 

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