WHAT CAN BE DONE: SOLUTION DRIVEN IDEAS
In the wake of the Grand Jury’s “no indictment” decisions in countless, unjustified killings, people around the world are left with exhausted bodies, stifled voices and the inability to breathe. What must be done in order for all human lives to matter? Some of the questions that plague the minds of many, is when, if ever, will the criminal justice system protect those who cannot protect themselves and who are often subjected to aggressive policing and the powers of the government? When will those in authority be held responsible for their actions? How many people must lose their lives due to unwarranted force? When will justice be served? Although these questions are valid, they simply may be rhetorical riddles with no viable answers. Perhaps, if we can answer one question, we can find the answer to the questions mentioned above. What can be done? This commentary was not written with the intention to destroy the credibility of law enforcement; to express disgust for the criminal justice system or to encourage riots. Nor was it written to diminish the suffering of the families, the communities or the nation. This commentary moves beyond blaming and any apparent race issues. This commentary even avoids the reasoning’s of the Grand Jury. Also, this commentary moves past the warranted protesting around the nation. This commentary is intended to clear our minds momentarily, in order to find a long-term solution to an on-going problem we have been facing for centuries. This commentary is therefore, solution driven. We know immediate satisfaction is expected; however, the following are just a few suggestions that may render positive results in the long run.
1. Seek post-secondary education: research reveals higher education leads to better decision-making.*
2. Choose majors that matter socially such as criminal justice, political science, health and human services and the law: Obtaining degrees in these academic areas will allow you to place yourself in positions that will allow you to participate in law and policy-making, court processes and public advocacy.
3. Encourage the youth to continue their education: For they will inherent a society in need of fairness and accountability.
4. Excel in your studies: Learn how a law or policy is implemented and the stakeholders who have a direct interest. We then become better prepared to influence policies and laws.
5. Never neglect the power of your vote: Vote in not only the Presidential election but in all elections, can help elect those who share your views and can address your concerns.
DeShunda S. Brown-Boulcher
December 4, 2014
* Philip Oreopoulis and Kjell G. Salvanes, “How Large are Returns to Schooling? Hint: Money Isn’t Everything,”
NBER Working Paper 15339, 2009