I fit the description. I was a black man.
Could it be that, in a nation that has legalized racial profiling through such policies as "stop-and-frisk," the persecution of pigmentation makes African Americans indistinguishable from each other in the eyes of the law -- so much so that all are feared as imminent threats?
The shock is not only that a police officer killed an unarmed black teenager. That, tragically, has happened too many times before, and when the details remain murky, many people withhold judgment. The shock was that the police response to the protests was so hugely disproportionate, "like an invading army."
Hogwarts is run by white people, and let's not touch racism and Tolkien. Where are the South Asian superheroes? The Black people in Dr. Seuss? Make sure your kids know the world they see has missing pieces, missing people and missing stories.
If a black person can be gunned down and left in the street for over four hours with no disciplinary action taken against the government representative responsible, what does "equal protection" mean?
When I started writing about the gender disparity I saw in Silicon Valley, I took intense fire from the boys club. They could get away with this because such frat-boy behavior was considered acceptable in Silicon Valley. But things are changing for the better.
The profound division of American society along racial lines is part of a vicious circle exacerbating a host of social problems, from excessive use of force by the police to mass incarceration and wealth inequality.
I believe that having hard conversations is hard because we haven't put ignorance in its proper place. Ignorance has become synonymous with choice and that's not always true. If I can't ask an ignorant question, how will I become enlightened to the truth?
No matter where you are in life, finances can be a big pain in the you-know-what. It doesn't get easier, no matter how much older you get. So to help, we've devised a little roadmap of goals that everyone can follow to make sure they are meeting the right financial goals for their age.
Reloadable prepaid cards have evolved over the past few years, but many Americans are not informed on how to compare and benefit from this financial product. These cards can be very beneficial for a variety of consumers, as long as they devote the time to finding the card that's best for them.
Only by participating in the political process, building trust and cooperation with people unlike us, and using our smartphone cameras to expose official misconduct can we make America -- to borrow Dr. King's words -- be true to what we said on paper.
The words "college life" and "savings" are typically not used in the same sentence today. However, for college students preparing to move onto campus this fall, finding ways to save money may very well be as important as their academic major.
Black people have been dehumanized and disregarded in America since its inception; and it is thus time for us to truly realize that this country is not "one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
The election of Barack Obama was the Lexington and Concord in the latest great battle of race in America. We are a nation at war with itself. For all of our desire to move beyond the narrow confines of many of the events of our tragic history, we cannot. The president's election gave new life to what had been lying dangerously dormant for the better part of 50 years.
The expedient historical analogy alleviates any pressure to understand the moment at hand. One is free to return to the caldron and pull out the example that support one's preconceived notion.
As a lawyer in that system, I know that the American criminal justice system is institutionally racist, even though the vast majority of people that work within it are people of good will. We can change the system, but that requires us to recognize the problem and commit to making the necessary changes.
Just look at the facts, and it becomes clear that America's egregious rates of incarceration of blacks and Latinos stem from the enforcement of unfair sentencing laws -- laws that are grounded in racist policy, and that are desperately in need of reform.
By Karu F. Daniels, AOL Black Voices
Actress Kerry Washington may have recently called off her longtime engagement to struggling actor David Moscow, but the Bronx-born beauty knows how to make "marriage" work.
Well, maybe in theory.
The L'Oreal spokesmodel and star of the upcoming comedy 'I Think I Love My Wife,' has a string of acclaimed acting performances under her belt; most notably playing the wives of late soul music legend Ray Charles and notorious Uganda dictator Idi Amin, respectively, in the films 'Ray' and 'The Last King of Scotland.'
For the aforementioned films, lead actors Jamie Foxx and Forest Whitakermade history by winning the Academy Awards for Best Actor.
"The new rumor is, if you cast me as your wife, you win an Oscar," Washington joked during a press junket promoting 'Wife' at New York's Regency Hotel yesterday morning.
She may be onto something.
Regarding her own personal affairs, she remained mum, but did confirm: "my engagement was called off...It's personal."
In 'Wife,' which is directed by and stars Chris Rock, Washington plays a long lost friend of a married successful investment banker who needs help landing a job. The sex-deprived banker's conventional life gets turned upside down when things get too close for comfort.
On the subject of "marriage," Washington commented, "I know people who are married who are really, really happy and I know people who are married who aren't."
"I know people who live together and are really, really happy and I know people who live together and aren't," she continued. "So I think it's a personal decision. I think it's really about asking yourself what do I really want, and having the courage to ask yourself what do I want and doing it."
She noted that her parents are still married, and they were her inspiration.
'I Think I Love My Wife,' opens on March 16.
This summer, Washington will star opposite Michael Chiklis in the eagerly anticipated action flick 'Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.' She is also cast in 'Lakeview Terrace' with Samuel L. Jackson, and 'Life is Hot in Cracktown' with Evan Ross.