This is a guest post from Stefanie’s son Keenan. He is a 19 year old college student and wanted to put in writing his thoughts on the tragic ending of Mike Brown’s life. Our thoughts and prayers are with Mike Brown’s friends and family today as they lay him to rest.
Today Mike Brown is being laid to rest as his mother and father grieve.
Less than a month ago Mike Brown was a high school graduate who planned to attend college next fall. He will never have that privilege. Brown was gunned down by Darren Wilson after an alleged ‘altercation’, which stemmed from Mike Brown walking in the middle of the street instead of on the sidewalk. The officer then proceeded to shoot and kill Mike Brown, which has sparked controversy throughout the nation.
The media immediately released information regarding Mike Brown’s actions prior to the shooting. Mike Brown robbed a convenience store for $50 worth of cigars 10 minutes prior to the shooting. The officer involved in the shooting had absolutely no clue that Brown had just robbed this convenience store. So why does it matter? Robbing a convenience store is not grounds for being gunned down in the street. The release of the footage of Brown robbing a convenience store was an obvious attempt to justify the killing of another INNOCENT AFRICAN AMERICAN TEENAGER for the SECOND TIME IN THE PAST THREE YEARS.
Is it a coincidence that both Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown were both African American? Absolutely not. There is an obvious stereotype that portrays African American teenagers as rebellious, dangerous, violent people. We need to make this horrible prejudice and untrue stereotype stop now. These two boys were gunned down in the street. Both murdered in vain, both unarmed.
They will never see their families again. Both of these deaths have sent shockwaves through the United States. Will Mike Brown’s death finally be the change? Cleary Travyon Martin’s wasn’t enough. Two innocent, unarmed teenagers, who were just beginning their lives, had their lives taken from them prematurely by two Caucasian men who were blinded by the awful stereotype that because you are an African American teenager, you must be violent.
My name is Keenan, I am a Caucasian teenager who grew up in a very wealthy neighborhood in California. I have never had to worry about walking down the road and being singled out because of the color of my skin. I can wear a hoodie without people crossing the street in fear. I have that privilege. I was born with it.
I would like to offer my condolences to the parents, friends, siblings, and family of Michael Brown on this day as they bury his young body. I truly hope that the killing of Mike Brown has set an example large enough for the Caucasian population to finally realize and accept this stereotype to be false.
I challenge any of you who are reading this to ask yourself how you contribute to society’s beliefs. Ask yourself if you secretly harbor this same stereotype. You most likely do. Make an effort to change. Make an effort to change those around you.
I would like to be a part of a generation that proudly eliminates this awful stereotype. I want all African American boys my age to walk down the streets and think about what I, born to white parents, have the privilege of thinking about…
where I’m going.