In my first article, I want to write about violence in this land that seems to be ingrained in, but what is obvious, and there is no doubt about, is that this violence is too much more against people of color, especially Black people. So I am writing this, based on statistics, and some sources.
Statistics show that people of color face a higher possibility of being shot by police than do white men and women, that risk peaks in young adulthood, and that men of color face a non-trivial lifetime risk of being killed by police.
Based on the article ‘’Risk of being killed by police use of force in the United States by age, race-ethnicity, and sex” written by Frank Edwards, Hedwig Lee, and Michael Esposito, police violence is a leading cause of death for young men in the United States. Over the life course, about 1 in every 1,000 black men can expect to be killed by police. Risk of being killed by police peaks between the ages of 20 y and 35 y for men and women and for all racial and ethnic groups. Black women and men and American Indian and Alaska Native women and men are significantly more likely than white women and men to be killed by police. Latino men are also more likely to be killed by police than are white men.
Additionally, the trend of fatal police shootings in the United States looks to only be rising, with a total of 132 civilians having been shot, 16 of whom were Black, in the first two months of 2021. In 2020, there were 1,004 fatal police shootings, and in 2019 there were 999 fatal shootings. Additionally, the rate of fatal police shootings among Black Americans was much higher than that for any other ethnicity, reaching 35 fatal shootings per million of the population as of February 2021.
In a short essay, Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie G. Bunch writes that the killing in Minnesota of George Floyd has forced the country to “confront the reality that, despite gains made in the past 50 years, we are still a nation riven by inequality and racial division.”
In addition to enduring centuries of enslavement, exploitation, and inequality, African Americans have long been the targets of racially charged physical violence. Per the Alabama-based Equal Justice Initiative, more than 4,400 lynchings—mob killings undertaken without legal authority—took place in the U.S. between the end of Reconstruction and World War II.
For people of color in America, surviving the COVID pandemic thus far has meant coping with huge additional stress: The police killings that have pushed the Black Lives Matter movement to the forefront. For many educators, school psychologists, and public health experts, that reality simply confirms an already obvious truth.
“We’re collectively recognizing that racism is a public health issue, which is long overdue. And if we are going to effectively address health inequities, we have to effectively address — and actively fight — against, racism, too,” says Sonali Rajan, Associate Professor of Health Education. And these are all different kinds of violence in the United States of America!
In the end, I would like to say that the systemic violence that we are faced with, is totally ingrained in white privilege, racism, and systemic inequality against people of color in this country and what we must do is not to give up fighting for our rights.