Letter to the Editor
By JULIE MORGILLO

Tribune Community, Governance, History, Letter to the Editor, People, Political Analysis, Politics, Westchester County, NY 12 Comments

CROTON-ON-HUDSON — June 3, 2020 — Hello. my name is Julie Morgillo. I’m a 17-year-old student at Croton Harmon High School, and lately I’ve been thinking a lot. When I was a kid, I was always taught America was a place where if anyone worked hard, their dreams could come true. I was taught that slavery and racism were events of the past, but now, Blacks and whites are equal and have been since Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I have a dream” speech in the 60s. I was taught that even though sometimes you can’t please everyone, leaders passed laws with good intentions. I was taught that if you committed a small crime you would go to prison for a short time and if you committed a big crime you would go to prison for a long time. I was taught that you would only be killed if you were dangerous or did something really bad. I was taught that cops had the intention of protecting all and keeping America the fair, just, and free society I truly believed it was. Over my teenage years, especially this past year I have learned all of this is far from the truth. 

America is a society with deep roots of racism and oppression. I always thought that being a police officer you were supposed to protect everyone from those who were unsafe. However, this past summer I learned that the origins of the police force came about from the fugitive slave act. Police officers were originally a force designed to catch black people and bring them back to their slave owners. Of course, we have made progress as a society. I do believe there are good people who choose to be police officers. I know good people who have chosen to be police officers. 

However, as a profession, the police force is designed to enforce American laws and the American system. A system rooted in racism and oppression.  Being a white male I could have easily lived in a world where I believed everything I believed in as a child. I did not have to seek out the education and knowledge to find out about the racism in American society. I had the luxury of living in ignorance. 

This is not the case for Black people. Black people are constantly aware of the dangers they face in this society. One of my friends’ ten year-old little sister cries about how she may be killed by a police officer. This is a ten-year-old child. She shouldn’t have to worry about being murdered by those who are supposed to protect her. Black parents shouldn’t have to be afraid of sending their children to the store or letting them drive. It’s not fair. 

However, I believe in change. I believe we can have an America where blacks and whites are equal. I believe we can have an America where leaders pass laws with good intentions. I believe we can have an America where your sentence is appropriate for your crime. I believe we can have an America where cops protect everyone and keep everyone safe. However, for that to happen we need to make some serious societal changes. 

White Americans need to be properly educated on system oppression, specifically systemic racism. The police force needs to be completely revamped and training must be longer of longer duration, less based in how to harm people and more based on de-escalation techniques. This change will not be instant but it can happen.

So please, talk to teachers at your school about implementing lessons about systemic racism into classrooms. Talk to your local police force about how they train their cops. If you can vote, elect leaders at every level that believe this system requires change. Get educated and get involved. 

As a 17-year-old kid, I want to see the country I have mentioned come about. I want to see a country where cops are truly societies’ protectors. I want to see a country where everyone has a trial and everyone gets punished justly for the crimes they commit. I want to see a world where we acknowledge the immense struggle Black people have faced in society but we can move past it and truly reach equality. I want a world that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Barack Obama and countless other Black activists and white activists, as well, can be proud of and feel as if their goals have been fulfilled. 

Sincerely,

Julie Morgillo

Croton-On-Hudson, NY 

TribuneLetter to the Editor
By JULIE MORGILLO

Comments 12

  1. Some facts: In 2019, 371 white Americans were shot and killed by police, and 236 African-Americans were shot and killed by police. In the same year, 7407 African-Americans were murdered. This means that roughly 97% of African-Americans killed that year were not killed by police. If people want to demand change, it seems to me that the focus should be on stopping the 97%, not the 3%.

  2. More white guilt from the sheltered and privileged white liberal youth. Let’s look at the village of croton on Hudson demographics. 91.5 white. Less than 1% Black .026%. Mommy and daddy have certainly sheltered Julie away from blacks In her formative years. It gets better, The median income for a family in croton on Hudson is 6 figures, $100,600. Julie, please continue your education at Bronx community college and live and work In the Bronx with the working class, now that would be an education.

  3. Amadou Diallo was shot. He was not sodomized or beaten. That was Abner Louima. Get it together before you start your rant.

  4. It is good to see a young person like yourself taking notice and being willing to get involved with trying to solve problems. I feel, however, that I can offer a different perspective. You wrote that black people face dangers in society, and that black children worry about being killed by police officers. That black parents shouldn’t have to afraid to let their children go to the store, or drive. However, despite what propaganda you are being fed, the truth is that the likelihood or statistical probability of a black person being killed by police is so remote it can’t even be measured. Black youths, particularly males in the 18-25 year old range, are exponentially more likely to be killed by another black male in the same age range. And before you disregard this post as a racist rant, I just ask you to check the facts yourself. With that said, no rationally minded person, white or black, would defend what that policeman did to George Floyd on that Minneapolis street. However, the idea that black people are being hunted by police officers is completely unfounded.

  5. Whites are not contrite about the centuries of lynching. They are only marching and speaking out now because they are now openly humiliated on a world stage. Where were whites when Amadou Diallo was sodomized with a toilet plunger, brutally beatten and murdered? All these white corporations speaking out now only because it is hurting their pockets.

  6. Five centuries of this and white people are pretending like they didn’t know this open lynching of blacks has been going on since 1619.

  7. DON’T MOVE! contrary to what the poster has urged you to do….this nation has to change and the demographics will force it to change…Those who think that the current state of the American psyche is healthy are in denial…Police departments throughout the nation harbor some of the most aggressive pro authoritarian pro white ethno nationalists that we have…and the present President has, with a wink and a nod, given the go ahead to brutalize those who don’t fall neatly into the category of white christian. That is one of the reasons Trump supporters are so willing to tolerate Russian manipulation of voters…because their beliefs are more aligned with Russia than with the 70 year post WWII liberal world order. But don’t you worry we have leaders waiting in the wings who understand that the United States as a democratic nation must afford everyone equal opportunity and equal protection under the law. You will notice that after the murder of Mr Floyd, protesters emerged all over the nation. These are the good people speaking out against racism…these are the people who make up the bulk of America and these are the people who will be around to make things right long after the poster who asked you to go home is gone…

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