When bullying is mentioned, it typically conjures up an image of one child harassing another at school. While bullying among children is certainly an issue, it shouldn’t be seen as something that ends when people graduate high school. On a daily basis, law enforcement over-extends their authority to cause problems for marginalized groups, particularly those who are discriminated against for their race, sexual orientation or gender identity. It isn’t enough to hope for those in power to realize that what they’re doing is wrong. There needs to be collective action and solidarity among these groups and anyone else who is willing to take a stand for them.
Police claim to have a responsibility to protect and serve. But it’s dubious that they actually seek to protect and serve people beyond the most privileged classes. Police brutality against minorities is a widespread problem. In the US in 2018, 233 people were killed by police. In London, police are reported to use force approximately 139 times a day, primarily against black and transgender individuals. These statistics are no coincidence. When a group is routinely viewed negatively by society, police are going to have an easier time justifying force against them. Because law enforcement is so lionized in society, any use of force, no matter how harmful, can be seen as justified by some people.
What We Can Do
Meaningful social changes don’t happen due to oppressors having a sudden change of heart. They happen because those who are affected decide that they’re not going to stand for it any longer. There are too many stories of police brutality to ignore this. As you learn more about how law enforcement abuses their power, you have all the more reason to fight
Justice should not be a privilege. The notion of equality among all peoples is espoused, but it’s absolutely not adhered to by those in power. That doesn’t mean you should give up. Instead, it means you need to fight even harder. Every step you take is a step forward. There are going to be dissenters who refuse to consider your side and how what they’re doing is harmful to significant portions of the world, but there are also going to be those who take action to initiate actual lasting change. You can be part of this change. It’s all about believing you can make a difference.