Yesterday, reality seemed to unfold right in front of my eyes as I watched Scandal. ‘The Lawn Chair’ (Season 4, Episode 14) was extremely poignant, as it revolved around a major issue facing us in the world today. ‘The Lawn Chair’ tackled the raw subject of unarmed black men being shot by police officers.
After watching the police officer in the episode rant about why he shot an unarmed, innocent black boy to death, I had an in-depth discussion with my sister about some of the points he had made and also the subject matter covered in the episode.
The shooting of unarmed black men is wrong, especially when it comes at the hands of the police who are supposed to protect us.
But why does it take a series of shootings at the hands of the police to get us saying, #BlackLivesMatter? Haven’t black lives always mattered? Shouldn’t black lives matter all year round? Why is it that when three young Muslims were shot, the world took to saying #MuslimLivesMatter? Haven’t Muslim lives always mattered?
Black lives not only matter all year round and Muslim lives not only matter all year round, but all lives matter all year round. It is wrong for any individual to die because of their race or religion, and it is wrong for police to abuse their authority, because of stereotyping or racism.
It is also wrong for young people to kill other young people so mercilessly, as if their lives do not matter. The lack of respect for life among young people is a big problem, as it is as if they do not value their own lives, as well as not valuing the lives of others.
Although reported knife crime figures have fallen, this does not tell the full story, because there are numerous cases that go under the radar. Not all those who wounded by the blade of a knife will seek medical assistance and you can be sure that many of these young people do not want to report their being stabbed to the police.
Despite there being less coverage of knife crime in the media over recent years, there continues to be regular news reports of teenagers or young people being stabbed. This is not even taking into the account the number of stabbings the media are unaware of or choose not to report, as news is no longer news once it becomes the norm.
Knife crime, and violent crime as a whole, is still a major issue among young people, but it seems that many of us don’t see it that way. We need to instill the ideals of respect back into our society and teach young people that it is okay to care about one another.
Time should be spent helping young people to develop their communication skills and also gain a deeper understanding of one another, as it could prevent some of these pointless altercations. No one wants to hear about a young person being murdered over a cigarette.
Time needs to be spent reaching out to young people, talking to them and providing them with opportunities to prevent more lives being lost, wasted and ruined, because young lives matter. Older lives matter. Black lives matter. White lives matter. Muslim lives matter. Jewish lives matter. All lives matter.