It has been 17 years since the NYPD shot and killed Amadao Diallo in one of the most unnoticed cases of racial profiling in 1999(Marzulli & Olmeda 2015). At that time, I did a presentation on the shooting and how racial profiling was still an issue. I was an undergrad and my English professor told me that if I didn't impress him I was going to fail his 101 class.

 

After the presentation I was severely interrogated by the majority white audience and applauded by the few people of color in the class. I made it through the Q&A and made it clear, that I had nothing against law enforcement and I had nothing against white folk. I was just surprised, that an unarmed person of color, was shot 41 times and no one seemed to know or care that it occurred. I passed the English class and it began my investigation on race and media in the U.S. The rest is history.

 

17 years later I came across and article about a young man who changed his life after being given a laptop. This young man from Harlem, who was also a person of color, was given the opportunity to join an intercity youth program. This program helped young people learn about technology and computer science. The article went on to talk about how thanks to the program, this young man will be moving on college and may even get into Stanford University. This young mans name is Mamadao Diallo (Obrien, 2016).

 

I recognized the last name. In a quick side note it was mentioned that Amadao was his cousin and how after the shooting, Mamadao was sent to live with relatives in New Guinea. Eventually Mamadao came back to the U.S. and is now doing well. He is the first of his 9 siblings to go to college and his first language is Pular.

 

It was really good to hear something great about the otherwise tragic story. The only thing that can be said is one thought that goes through my mind every day:

 

Some people say that they are sick of hearing about racism, believe me as a person of color, I think I can speak for many of us, when I say, that we are sick of experiencing it.

 

Social Gelo with Angelo

 

Angelo Ferrer (M.S. Psychology)

 

 

References

 

 

Obrien S. (2016, March 4 ). How a free computer changed this Harlem teen’s life.  CNN. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com

 

Marzulli J. & Olmeda R. (2015, Feb 3). Unarmed Amadao Diallo is killed by four police officers who shot him 41 times in 1999. Daily News. Retrieved from http://www.dailynew.com

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