The killing of Trayvon Martin three years ago, an act of dubious legal and moral validity, sparked a movement that sought to identify and protest race-based injustices. That spark roared to a flame in Ferguson, amidst allegations of murder at the hands of local police. The fire burned on through similarly controversial police actions involving minorities in New York, Cleveland and Baltimore.
Voices raised against the stain of racism from every angle; from the #BlackLivesMatter movement to columnists and essayists across news media to millions of individuals around the country using their social media accounts to advocate change.
They were legion, and they were right.
The disease of racism does continue to live in this country. A disappointingly high number of white Americans do not recognize and admit the privileges inherent in living in white skin. The police forces across the country, especially those in low-income areas, do need to reassess their training, their methods, and their selection of officers to eliminate instances of over-aggressive or truly racist behavior.
There’s one problem though. They—the Voices—bury the righteousness of their message with a frustrating frequency. They’re too quick to employ over-simplified or logically flawed talking points. At times, they seem more concerned with receiving plaudits and praise from each other than actually registering the change they so adamantly claim they seek. Consequently, for all the energy invested and words spoken, efforts fall short of their intended goal, ranging from being rendered useless to downright counterproductive.