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Think Twice

Wednesday, 02 October 2013 13:58 By Marsha Calvert, SpeakOut | Op-Ed
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"No one has written your destiny for you. Your destiny is in your hands- you cannot forget that. That's what we have to teach all of our children. No excuses."

-Barack Obama

Is this entirely true? You have to think of the circumstances that exist in this world. For example, discrimination based on ethnicity, class level, income, etc. Do these not count? YOUR destiny is never in YOUR hands. It is in the hands of the system and society. Let us take a look at the Trayvon Martin case. A 17-year-old African American boy in Florida comes home from the corner store with a bag of skittles and a can of Arizona Iced Tea. What occurs? He gets shot by a white man (George Zimmerman). Zimmerman was found not guilty, for supposedly using self-defense. What was Martin doing to him? Nothing. Was that just? Did Trayvon Martin have control of his destiny? What if he was a white male? Would he still have gotten shot?

Racism from the system towards colored people is immense. Adam Hudson from Alternet mentions "Police officers, security guards, or self-appointed vigilantes extrajudicially killed 313 African Americans in 2012 according to a recent study. This means a black person was killed by a security officer every 28 hours." How exactly do we have our own destiny on our own hands? It is simply illogical to say that we do.

No one manages their own future if either discrimination or racism are still present. In the article "America Is Still a Goddamn Nightmare, WE NEED A REVOLUTION!" Carl Dix talks about the new Jim Crow and how racism won't disappear because of the system. "What is the situation today? The new Jim Crow. More than two million people in prison, and more than five million formerly incarcerated facing discrimination when looking for work, and barred from living in public housing and receiving government loans. Racial profiling, stop-and-frisk, and a school-to-prison pipeline." Obama should consider what he's going to say twice before he gets peoples hopes up.

You may ask yourself, "Will we ever be in control of our own destiny?" Surely, not as long as there is still racism. That's preposterous. We are the system's puppets. They can undertake any plan they crave for us and there is nothing we can do about it. You're African American, Hispanic, Asian, poor, or low income, and you want destiny in your own hands? Dismiss it from your mind.

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Marsha Calvert

Marsha Calvert is a senior in high school.


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