” The biggest hurdle that our communities have is cynicism-saying it’s a done deal, who cares, there is no point to voting. If we can get somebody to care, its a huge victory for the movement and the causes we’re trying to advance.” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Despite being heartbroken, I have been glued to the television all weekend long. As I watched on CNN and MSNBC, the hundreds of thousands protesting in America’s major cities-Atlanta, Detroit, Milwaukee, Chicago, New York, Utah, Philadelphia, Oakland, and Los Angeles, I became increasingly frustrated with their inaccurate reporting on WHY people are actually protesting. It is being reported that these protests are a response to the brutal murder of George Floyd. That’s TRUE but it’s only partially true. People are protesting against Racism. People are protesting because they feel helpless and hopeless in America. People are protesting because of the double standard that exists amongst its citizenry. People are protesting because they want to know- WHO CARES?
Sure the televised murder of ANOTHER African American man-George Floyd- as he lay handcuffed in the street while 3 armed police officer had their knees on his back and one had his knee on his neck for nearly 9 minutes. Even when George kept saying “I can’t breathe” the officer kept his knee on his neck until he couldn’t speak anymore. George Floyd dead over a counterfeit $20 bill that we are unsure if he even knew it was fake. But, even if he had known, it’s a misdemeanor crime NOT a death sentence. While the murder was being taped, the officer had a smug look on his face because he knew African American men and women have been murdered by police across this country without any consequences or repercussions. So naturally, he thought this would end the same- with him going home scot-free. After all, WHO CARES? WHO CARES what happens to African Americans in this country?
The definition of Racism is prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior. The very definition of racism itself is one-sided because it infers that one group believes that they are superior. This is white privilege. The smug look of this officer while being filmed proved that point. His audacity and callousness are why people are protesting. People are protesting because 3 other paid officers stood by while they allowed this atrocity to happen and although complicit have yet to be arrested. People are protesting because BLACK LIVES MATTER TOO!! People are protesting because damn it- WE CARE!!
People are protesting a system where white privilege is promoted and frequently used. People are protesting those Betty’s, Ann’s, and Dan’s that call the cops because they think as African Americans, we don’t belong –in an exclusive building, bird watching in the park, or sleeping in the lobby of a college dorm where they attend. People are protesting because they are tired of hearing about African American men and women who have been killed while jogging, driving home from dinner, playing their music too loud at a gas station, or while playing videos with your nephew in your own dam home. People are protesting because of the existing disparities in social-economic classes. People are protesting because they are fed up with oppression. People are protesting because of the unfair liberties that police officers across America take while interacting with African Americans. People are protesting because we want you to know that WE CARE!!!
George Floyd’s televised MURDER was certainly the torch that lit the powder keg and caused the explosion BUT, this protest is ALSO a response to the deaths of Emitt Till, Isaac Woodard, George Stinney, Little Rock 9, Ruby Bridges, Ron Settles, Eula Love, LaTonsha Harland, Rodney King, Jim Crow laws, Central Park 5, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Ahmaud Aubry, Delrawn Small, Philando Castile, Eric Garner, Alton Sterling, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, Breona Taylor, Sandra Bland, Dominique Clayton, Atatiana Jefferson, Eric Reason, Botham Jean, Walter Scott, Bettie Jones, Tanisha Anderson, Natasha McKinney, Michelle Cusseaux, and the list continues.
This protest is a statement to America that WE CARE and will NO longer tolerate injustices. We will NOT accept that it is the norm to kill unarmed OR armed Black people. We will NO longer accept the acquittals when white people and officers kill Black people. We will NO longer continue to lose our fathers and mothers, our sons and daughters, our brothers and sisters, our uncles and aunts, our nephews and nieces to senseless violence because of the color of their skin. People are protesting because WE CARE!!!
We will show WE CARE in November when its time to vote. We will show WE CARE when we use our voices to speak out against injustices, to create policies designed to change systemic racism. We will show WE CARE when we extend our hand and our hearts to those individuals who are willing to show they CARE too by standing alongside us fighting these and other injustices in America. Things will ONLY change when WE ALL CARE!!!
SHIP TALK: Do you care? What are your thought on the world occurrences?
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