Image Credits: CSPAN

I look around me and I see racial divide. I see pain, and I see hatred growing. But, I can’t be the only one who looks around me and is scared that, instead of choosing to unite, we are taking up arms against each other. Each day another riot is happening, another business is being burned down in the name of justice, and we are tearing apart communities in hopes that it’ll somehow better them. White, black, no matter the color of your skin, the divide within our communities somehow affects us all. Recently Charlotte, North Carolina has become the hotspot for controversy. Recent police shootings have stirred the pot of anger again and put North Carolina in a State of Emergency. Senator Tim Scott (SC- R) gave a speech earlier this year in June about police shootings and racial injustice in America. Senator Scott touched on some points that we usually overlook on both sides of the spectrum.

1) “We cannot allow the actions of a few to overwhelm the good of the majority.”

Law enforcement is not all bad. Too often in our society we see law enforcement stereotyped as villains. We overlook the fact that they themselves have chosen to sacrifice their very life in order to protect our own. Men and women in law enforcement sacrifice the certainty that they will go home to their families at night. We cannot continue to dehumanize police officers simply because few have tainted their image.

2) “I have felt the anger, the frustration, the sadness and the humiliation that comes with feeling like you’re being targeted for nothing more than just being yourself,”

Not all of us know what it is to feel stereotyped because of the color of our skin. Often, and mostly unintentionally, people of color are discriminated against by law enforcement- sometimes out of fear by how the media perpetuates them in conflicts. This is something that must become a realization to all of us if we hope to mend the divide between people of color and law enforcement. There is no reason why someone should live in fear for their life day in and day out. Whether that be black man, or a law enforcement officer.

3) “We must find a way to fill these cracks in the very foundation of our country.”

A key solution in fixing the racial issue within our society is first admitting that it exists. Racial division grows the more that we continue to ignore it, and let it go undetected. Fixing the foundation of this country starts the moment we unite. Black lives matter, all lives matter—we are all stronger together.

4) “I don’t believe that all answers are in government, I don’t think all the solutions that we need start in government. We need people doing things that only individuals can do.”

Government is not the answer. Too often we look to government to fix problems that have formed over the course of decades. Reagan said it best—government is not the solution; government is the problem. We need communities coming together with law enforcement to mend the heartbreak of lost officers in the line of duty. We need citizens going out during protests and letting our law enforcement know that they do not stand alone. Yet, we must also let them know that faulty actions do have consequences. We need more people coming together and saying enough [division] is enough.

5) “Recognize that just because you do not feel the pain, the anguish of another, does not mean it does not exist. To ignore their struggles, our struggles, does not make them disappear it simply leaves you blind.”

We cannot keep invalidating the feelings of the black community simply because we do not feel their anguish. We cannot keep ignoring their voices because it inconveniences us at the moment.

May we remember in times like these that we are all American, and that no one race is worth more than another. May we choose love each time it seems so much easier to choose hate. And, may we remember that together we are stronger than when we are apart.

Heather S