Enough! None of this is rationalizable. It should not be okay for me, or anyone, to have to go protest for the sake of existing in the world as a Black person, for the sake of the color of my skin. I am writing this with a very heavy heart, deeply agitated and in complete distraught at what living in America as a Black person has come to.
We are protesting police brutality during a pandemic and through a time when the President of the United States ordered the use of violence against protestors through Twitter. It is unbelievable that 52 years after the Civil Rights Movement —which American history class claims to be the end of racism in America— a 46-year-old devoted Black father, George Floyd, was murdered by a racist Minneapolis police officer who knelt on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, and it was video taped. And it took Hennepin County District Court almost two weeks to charge the other officers who were present (and did nothing) in the murder of this Black man over something not worth his life being taken for! I can’t believe Breonna Taylor was wrongfully attacked and killed and her murderers are roaming on the street because they are protected. Police brutality is not a new issue in the United States.
The truth is that there is no such thing as “fixing” the system because it was built to legally oppress people. The oppressors have fixed the system in such a way so that they can be in power and remain that way.
When they could not legally enslave Black people, the oppressors, planted seeds of disease in our communities, such as crack cocaine, and imprisoned our men. They passed legislation to throw Black men in prison, to separate them from their youth, their families and loved ones.The effects on Black lives are lethal and that should never go unseen, especially when we are uncared for by the people who are supposed to protect us.
Some may question the brokenness of the system, but it is clearly evident in examples like this: the cause of police violence in many American cities is because cities and police departments are not properly funded by federal and state governments, and thus to generate revenue, the city arrests many people and charges large amounts for non-violent offenses, such as traffic violations and jaywalking. Fines then imposed by the court are financially harsher on the poor who cannot afford to pay, as opposed to someone who has the ability to pay the hundreds of dollars they are fined with. The hegemonic block is further maintained through the racial disparity in power; this is due to disproportionality in hiring more White cops than Black cops and insufficient implicit bias training. Due to this broken system and the oppression of Black people in America, the historic and current structure in the United States is that White/Caucasian citizens acquire more social power than Black/African-Americans and other racial minorities.
It is disheartening to have to go fight for my Black life during pandemic. It is disheartening to know that a curfew was issued on protestors of Black Lives Matter and not on people who were protesting the Coronavius, a public health crisis that has affected 100,000 American lives. It is disheartening to know that POTUS has ordered the use of police violence against innocent souls, just so he could take a photograph with a Bible— a Bible that condemns his behavior and criminalizes the way he treats Black people as though they are less than human. Various religious leaders including a former minister at the church Trump disturbed peace to get there.
It is virtually impossible to summarize everything wrong with this system in an article, so I would like to encourage everyone to educate and get educated. It is not wrong to ask questions, but it is important to know that Black people are not responsible for educating non-Black people. It is not our responsibility to convince people not to kill us and it is not okay that this is even a matter of discussion. Black lives are not an issue that is up for discussion, it is our human and inalienable right to life, liberty and to pursue happiness.