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What’s to Win with Hatred: A Detroit Opinion

Flickering Myth

Flickering Myth

JaCarla Anderson, Writer

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Detroit is a city that has so much hidden history. During the summer of 1967, riots, raids, and killings took place. It took 50 years for a film depiction of the events that happened that summer to surface.

The Algiers Motel incident occurred during the nights of July 25 and July 26. This was during the racially charged 12th Street Riot. During this incident, three black teens were beaten and killed by police. The other nine individuals, including seven black males and two white females, were beaten by members of a riot task force composed of the Detroit Police Department.

The scenes that depicted these incidents is what has sparked this enraged flame in me. I can never unsee those horrific events. I have never felt so sick to my stomach in a movie theater than when I watched this film. I also have never felt more hatred and fear toward police officers.  

          I have never been one to bad mouth police officers despite all the wrong they do, and all the bad and wrong that surrounds them. I still believe there are some good ones out there.

           On August 11, as I sat in that movie theater, I realized that having an uncertainty about them and always being cautious around them will never be a wrong thing. Look at what events continue to happen around the world.

          The events that took place in the movie “Detroit” were based off real events. Though some scenes and lines were dramatized for viewer’s purposes, I couldn’t help but feel the truth behind Will Poulter’s character’s line, “I like him for it.”

           It made me question the actuality of this happening in the world today. I would like to be hopeful and say there are better humans out there that wouldn’t do this, but I know that that isn’t true.

          The more I watched, the more my heart continued to break. It’s horrible that events like this that took place. Three African American teens died that summer of 1967. Mothers and fathers lost their sons, families lost their young loved ones. Those boys never got to grow up and live their future. Their life was taken away in cold blood and without remorse.

           The heartbreak I felt wasn’t the kind of heartbreak you feel when your favorite characters aren’t getting back together either. It was the kind where you couldn’t possibly feel the pain and suffering those people went through but you knew it hurt a hell of a lot. I can’t imagine the pain Aubrey Pollard’s dad felt or what Fred Temple’s brother felt or even what Carl Cooper’s mom felt; their unimaginable happened.

            It made me think about my life and what would happen to my family if they found out the news that I was killed in an incident that involved the police.

             I also began to think about me, and if I were to ever come in contact with a white cop who didn’t like black people. Would I be pulled over for nothing? Would I be stopped coming out of a gas station? Would I be shot because I “resisted arrest” or “tried to take” their gun?

           These scenarios that I thought about have all happened in our history to so many different people with a dark  complexion. And this will continue to happen because no one has ever tried to stop it.

            People keep calling what happened in Charlottesville a wake up call, and I totally agree but I question why America had to be awakened to see what has been happening in our country. Organizations such as the Neo-Nazis, the White Nationalist and the KKK will continue to spread terror until they are stopped.

            But what about the police? In my opinion they cause terror too. People say that we have nothing to worry about, police officers aren’t that bad. Would you say that to the families of Sandra Bland, how about Eric Garner or Mike Brown? Are you telling me that they shouldn’t have worried? In my mind they had the right to be worried and even scared. They didn’t know that earlier that day would be the last time they ever saw their family.

            As a young African American teen I feel unsafe on the streets of my own town back in Chicago. I even feel scared walking around alone in the streets off campus. Did you know that a study was done in 2015 that shows that 73,327 people live in Decatur. Of that number 70.6 percent are Caucasian, and 20.7 percent are African American. That means that there are roughly 51,100 Caucasians Decatur and only 14,600 African Americans.

            How is it fair that just because the color of my skin that I am discriminated against? Last I checked, I am just as much human as a person with fair skin. I don’t understand how I am supposed to live in this world when things only continue to get worse.

             I hope and pray that one day all this war between races will end. All this hatred is worth absolutely nothing. What is there to win at the end of this–other than millions of lives lost? People need to take a moment and really think to themselves is it really worth it to take someone else’s life who is built the same but with a different shade to their skin color.

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What’s to Win with Hatred: A Detroit Opinion