This is an article about police violence from a media company that employs hundreds of millennials, prompted by the murders of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling via those who swore under oath to protect and serve them. This is the attempted powerful introduction, where I paint a picture of the terrifying reality millions of American citizens must face every day. This intro paragraph invokes images of brutality past and present, detailing the shivering arm of a bloodied and dying Alton Sterling, the screams of a desperate and suffocating Eric Garner, and ends with the visual of a once common practice—an innocent American being hanged in front of a cheering crowd of other Americans.
This is where I make my main point. What that point is exactly doesn't really matter, as the majority of the people reading this will have already agreed with the premise before clicking the link. Those who would most benefit from reading this article—the type of people who respond to videos of Americans being murdered by defending the murderers at all costs or wondering why we should even care given that American-on-American violence happens all the time—will probably read another article on another website. Most likely a site that makes the opposite points and confirms what they already believe: Police are the good guys and it's obvious those Americans over there are doing something wrong.
It would be unfair for me to expect you to read every word, especially considering that not a single one of these words has the power to prevent a uniformed officer from gunning down an American man, woman, or child without legal repercussions.
This is the part where I support my argument with facts. This includes statistics that detail the number of Americans killed by police officers, statistics on income inequality, and first-hand accounts from respected officials on the uniquely aggressive police tactics used in low-income neighborhoods. There's even historical research, detailing the long-term impact of zoning laws, redistricting, mass incarceration, housing policies, federal and state lobbying, education inequality, and the continuous battle some Americans fight to keep their homes, schools, and livelihoods separate from Americans won't don't look like them. These facts, organized in such a way where their correlation and parallels become obvious, should shock you and elicit action.
This is the part of the article that features quotes from those who have experience with these issues. There are reactions from community leaders, police spokespeople, politicians, eyewitnesses, celebrities, and Twitter personalities whose survival is dependent on retweets. These people offer a spectrum of opinions, from encouraging to objectively vile. Some even point out possible next steps, and I even make sure to link to these possible next steps in hopes that this article will assist, in some small way, in slowing down the Purge-like visuals we're all bombarded with on a regular basis.
This is the part that you glossed over. Hey, I'm not blaming you. It's tough keeping up with so much information, so many incidents, so much violence, so many takes. This article is only one of dozens you could be reading right now on this subject. It would be unfair for me to expect you to read every word, especially considering that not a single one of these words has the power to prevent a uniformed officer from gunning down an American man, woman, or child without legal repercussions.
This is the conclusion. This is where I attempt to wrap up all of these ideas into a final cohesive statement, hopefully one that has a lasting impact on the reader.
Not because the wording is off or because the points aren't valid, but because—to put it frankly—these articles don't change anything. They're more a vehicle for self expression than a vehicle for change. Which is entirely more an indictment of Americans who willingly bury their heads in the sand when it comes to police violence than of the online media industry. But don't waste too much of your time thinking about why the richest, most powerful country in earth's history must exist this way. Chances are that won't change anything either.