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."
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.
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.
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?
During their run, commentators across the country noted that the Jackie Robinson West Little League team, which is composed entirely of African-American players, hails from the city's South and Southwest Sides. Many of these neighborhoods have not received the same love from Emanuel that he has heaped on the young players.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
When 'CSI: NY' actor Hill Harper decided to pen a tome to inspire and uplift young African American men, he was confronted by plenty of naysayers. At his New York book-launch party for 'Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny,' the Harvard-educated author talked about the numerous people who told him young black people don't read. Instead of letting the negative comments dissuade him from writing, Harper stood firm in his belief that he had a message that young people needed to hear.
"I knew I could get an effective message across to our amazing young people. I am happy to know that both of my books have become [New York Times] best sellers, because that indicates to me that statistics and stereotypes can be overcome."
Harper's 2006 debut, inspired by Rainer Maria Rilke's 'Letters to a Young Poet,' includes advice from the likes of his Harvard Law classmate President Barack Obama, as well as rap star Nas and tennis great Venus Williams.
In 2008, Harper's second offering, 'Letters to a Young Sister: DeFINE Your Destiny,' followed. The book, which was designed to inspire young women and is written in letter format, features advice from influential black women like First Lady Michelle Obama, Nikki Giovanni and Ruby Dee.
Now, the 43-year-old, who notes that his biggest struggle in dating has been how much time he spends on the road, is hoping to switch gears and talk about relationships in his new book, 'The Conversation: How Black Men and Women Can Build Trusting Relationships.'
"My last two books, 'Letters to a Young Brother' and 'Letters to a Young Sister,' relied heavily on contributions from well-known men and women who had wisdom to impart to and inspire our youth. 'The Conversation,' however, is different," he clarified.
"The research I did for the book was all about talking to many people from all different walks of life to explore how we are or are not communicating as men and women."
The idea for 'The Conversation,' which includes stories from couples in all stages of relationships -- from new love to 50-year-long marriages -- came from the Iowa native's travels while promoting his previous books.
"While traveling the country on book tours and speaking engagements, I meet all sorts of people. ...Many of them trust me and feel comfortable enough to share their feelings and personal experiences," he said. "It made me want to explore both the reasons for the poor state of our men-women relationships and solutions for making them better."
Considering, as Harper points out, that in 1966, nearly 80 percent of black children were raised in two-parent households. Now that rate is a mere 33 percent; it is a good time for 'The Conversation' to hit bookstores this September.
After the release of 'The Conversation,' Harper hopes to work on a children's book series. But he's quick to remind everyone about how proud he is that his Harvard classmate is now the president of the United States of America.
"I'm so proud of him; I am so proud of us. Let's all of us work as hard as we can in our own communities to create the change that he discussed during the campaign so that we can see real transformation. He can't do it alone, and he is working really hard...so we should do the same."
Harper is certainly doing his part as an author. If 'The Conversation' is as successful as his previous two books, President Obama is certainly equally proud of Harper.Hill Harper Letters'The Conversation' will be released via Gotham Books on Sept. 8.