By TEACHED Intern Zachary Dorcinville
"We got a long way to go for us as a society and for us as African Americans until we feel equal in America." said Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James during a press conference after an unknown person spray-painted a racial slur on the gate of his home. This statement, considering the current state of minorities in America, could not be more accurate. When even LeBron James, an NBA megastar, can be a target of racism, my take-away is that insecurity is behind the hate. That there are still many people who cringe whenever a person of color is doing well for themselves, or better than them.
It doesn't stop there, however. On the same exact day of the vandalism at LeBron James' home, a noose was found by tourists at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C. A noose, being a symbol of African American struggle and oppression, makes this a profound statement and crime. Both incidents bring to the light the fact that racism and inequality in the United States are still very prevalent today. Rather than the hosing down and letting loose of police dogs on protestors during the civil rights era, these vindictive actions still prove that, indeed, we got a long way to go.
When people feel compelled to attack prominent figures and institutions at this level, what does that mean for the average young citizen, like me, who has dreams of success? Does it matter if I succeed, or will it actually make me a bigger target? These are burning questions that seemingly have no resolution. Being a witness of police injustice, and seeing so many other examples of racism and injustice in our world today, I can only hope that the preamble to the U.S. Constitution will someday be fully enacted.
To conclude on a positive note, LeBron James has since donated $2.5 million to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. With such a generous gesture, he has reminded us that our best response as a people is to help and support one another though others would try to bring us down.