‘We can’t be bystanders to wrongdoing’
Elise Miller is a 17-year-old on a tight schedule. Elise…
“My brother is 15. He’s about to start driving.”
I repeated these petrifying words over and over again while driving back to campus after watching “The Hate U Give.”
Tamir Rice was 12. Trayvon Martin was 17. My brother is 15.
The movie, based on the bestselling young adult novel by Angie Thomas, tells the story of Starr, a girl growing up in a black community while attending a predominantly white private school. When her close friend is shot by a police officer during a traffic stop, Starr must face the unfortunate reality of racial tensions in America.
It is a coming-of-age story I can relate to. While no one close to me has died because of police brutality, every man in my family has at least one unfortunate story concerning the police.
I do not exactly remember the first time I had “the talk” about police brutality. My parents gave a different version of “the talk” on at least a weekly basis. Any time the police stopped my father without a legitimate reason, we had “the talk.” Whenever my siblings and I acted up in a store, we had “the talk” about the potential of being accused of stealing because of our race. When I went from the highest to the lowest reading group in the second grade, I had “the talk” about racial bias in education.
I do not exactly remember the first time I had “the talk” about police brutality. My parents gave a different version of “the talk” on at least a weekly basis.
These talks are endless, and “The Hate U Give” provides substantial insight into the discussions many black Americans have on a daily basis. The movie does more than portray feelings associated with racial and social injustice. It provides a forum for discussion.
I cannot watch a movie like “The Hate U Give” and do nothing about it. And I do not believe I am alone in this. Since viewing the film, our university’s Black Student Union has hosted a series of discussions about the major themes.
During a time when our country denies racial tension, discussing brutality and other racial topics in a chapel setting is a great way to move toward unity. Staying educated is far better than remaining complacent — especially because “My brother is 15. He’s about to start driving.”
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