A few years ago, I began getting headaches about once or twice a week. It wasn’t anything too serious, a couple aspirin would alleviate the pain and I would be okay. One night I realized that my pillows were straining my neck so I stopped sleeping on them and replaced them with one flat pillow. The headaches stopped after that night. This made me realize that it is always best to address the cause of the problem instead of periodically treating the symptoms.
Like many people that have seen the recent videos of murder and police brutality I have been doing a lot of thinking about a subject that is sadly not unfamiliar. As a Black man I have witnessed this as normal behavior for most of the cops I’ve personally encountered. But the truth is that the problem is not the government, the police department, or white people. The problem is racism. So these documented and undocumented incidents will continue to happen even if a corrupt cop is prosecuted in court or another multi-million-dollar settlement is granted to a family who lost a love one at the hands of an officer or another amendment is added to the Constitution. As long as racism is ignored and accepted openly or behind closed doors then these symptoms will inevitably continue to pop up in our society.
Although some racist police officers have wrongfully assaulted and killed without repercussions, I don’t think violence is the way to solve the problem. More fire has never extinguished a fire. The “aspirin” to quell the symptoms is to affect the finances of organizations that allow racism to go unchecked. We have witnessed this to be effective with the Montgomery bus boycott. But I continue to stand by my belief that until the root cause of the problem, which is racism, is honestly addressed and focused on then our headaches will continue to resurface.