Racism and Reform

What do you hope will change about the place where you live?

My hometown has been recently dubbed “The most segregated city in America.” This past July, Baton Rouge made headlines after white policeman killed a black man. Two weeks later, an ambush on policemen left three officers dead, with the shooter claiming his “necessary evil” was aimed at reforming America’s police force. The city was in an uproar; after years of the city sweeping racial tension under the rug, the issue of racism in Baton Rouge was finally emerging into the open. But even the progressive efforts were segregated. White people stayed on their side of town and hoped that acknowledgement of the issue was sufficient, while black people protested and cried out for justice.

I want my city to change so that will cross the tracks, come together, and discuss ways to overcome the deep rooted racism. We need real reform and concrete action to bridge the gap between the failing public school system and the predominately white private schools, between the impoverished neighborhoods and the middle class suburbs, between the peaceful Black Lives Matter protester and the White policeman who sees her as a potential threat. I wish it didn’t take the deaths of four people for my neighbors to realize that racism in my city is real, but acknowledging the issue is the first step. I hope that my city continues onward in the discussion of race and prejudice, and I hope that everyone here realizes that the color of your skin does not determine the state of your soul.

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