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This unsigned editorial is the opinion of the Nubian Message’s editorial board, and is the responsibility of the editor-in-chief. 

Six. Six is the number of bullets an American police officer thought was appropriate to fire at an unarmed teen.

Its been reported U.S. Navy SEALs used only three to kill wanted terrorist Osama bin Laden. The shooting of Michael Brown is a tragedy that spawned both riots and peaceful protests, bringing both national and abroad attention to the city of Ferguson, Missouri.

 On the surface, this was a killing of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer just a few weeks before he was to begin his freshman year of college. A vigil held for Brown turned violent as the citizens of Ferguson expressed their outrage. Unfortunately, Brown’s story is far too familiar.

 The Ferguson case has brought up many questions about race relations and police brutality in America. Police of Ferguson chose to use military tactics against organizers, in efforts to silence the voices of those calling for justice.

 Unfortunately, some of us have been completely oblivious to what is even going on and why there’s uproar in the heartland of our country. To that, we say—WAKE UP.

 Despite the number of years that separate us from slavery and the civil rights movement, the reality in this country and even in Raleigh is that Black men are too often mistreated and brutalized by law enforcement.

 Brown’s life was taken by a man tasked with the job to protect and serve.

 No matter what color the victim and shooter were, the circumstances surrounding Brown’s death are alarming.

 We have a responsibility to educate ourselves and challenge the norms of our society – including police brutality. Awareness and change begins with us.