Indiana Daily Student

Black Voices: 'A normal teenager,' a monologue by RJ Crawford

Hello officer.

Remember me? 

(Waves hands) Do you even hear me?

(Shakes head)...I was only 16 years old. I made good grades. I had lots of friends. And I never missed a day of school. I was lead point guard on the basketball team. Everyone shouted my name during our games on rainy Friday nights. I had my whole life ahead of me. I was going to get a scholarship to Reddington and I was going to make it to the NBA.

On Saturday mornings, I volunteered at the library. Reshelving books that had been returned late. Turning every single page to make sure there were no boogers stuck to the pages. On Sunday mornings, I would go to church and sing in the youth choir. Rejoicing and being thankful for my life. 

I had the best parents in the world. To me, my parents were better than anybody else's. I loved them, and they loved me. I was their only child …their only child.

I had my whole life ahead of me ... had my whole life taken away from me. Because now, I'm dead.

I'm dead because discrimination is alive, and the color of my skin puts a big red target on my back!

I'm dead because a red or black or blue hoodie means that I'm involved in a gang.

I'm dead because I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Walking down the street with my best friend Carl to the courts ... planning to go to the movies later. Planning to go stand in line and wait for the new Call of Duty. Just being normal teenagers. Or at least I thought we were being normal teenagers.

Normal teenagers who got stopped, questioned and shot by the cops.

I guess we fit the description ...

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