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WNIJ Perspectives
Perspectives are commentaries produced by and for WNIJ listeners, from a panel of regular contributors and guests. You're invited to comment on or respond to any Perspective on our Facebook page or through Twitter (@wnijnews), in keeping with our Discussion Policy. If you would like to submit your own Perspective for consideration, send us a script that will run about 90 seconds when read -- that's about 250 words -- and email it to NPR@niu.edu, with "Perspectives" in the subject line.

Perspective: When Your Skin Is Your Sin

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Ahmaud Arbery

The videotaped attack and murder of Ahmaud Arbery was shocking to some and not others. The 25-year old African-American man, and former football standout, was running near his home on the outskirts of Brunswick, Ga. Two armed white men, a father and son, pursued then shot and killed Arbery, who they claim was a burglar. Two days after the graphic video went public, and 71 days after the actual murder, the father and son were charged with murder and aggravated assault.

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To some African-Americans, the murder of this unarmed jogger was not a surprise. Many of us know that our greatest sin is our skin. Our skin, beautiful, melanin-rich and kissed by the Creator’s sun, comes with a lot of baggage in America. Since the forced enslavement of our African ancestors, the color of our skin has been an issue.

Because of the color in our skin, we have historically been labeled second-class citizens, and racist whites separated themselves from us with separate public drinking fountains, bathrooms, and schools, among other things. Today not much seems to have changed, as we are unable to gather in the park, listen to music, play with a toy gun, or walk home from the store with an AriZona Iced Tea and Skittles without police getting involved, or worse, deadly consequences. White men can protest at multiple state capital buildings, while wearing guns suitable for war, around this nation, but a black man in Georgia can’t exercise near his own home.

This African-American man is tired. America has a serious problem and too many people are complicit in her sin.

I’m Joe Mitchell and this is my perspective.

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