As of writing this, it’s a little past midnight on a Saturday morning. My son and wife are both asleep, as well as my niece who is sleeping over this weekend. I am an adult black man, casually browsing the internet being constantly reminded of why I am terrified to exist in the country I call home. And make no mistake, it’s not because of the countless protests and riots happening around the country. It’s because, like those protesters, I understand how my own country feels about my sheer right to exist. And this past week alone has shown me how little they care about my life, and the lives of those who look like me. This has been an exhausting week. And frankly, i don’t have the energy to be tired anymore.
Keep in mind that During the time of writing this article, the World is still struggling with its battle with Corona virus. How telling is it that in America, racism can find a way to be more terrifying than a worldwide pandemic. I feel the need to speak on why the country is on fire, simply because there are still so many people who don’t understand the plight of the disenfranchised. The riots are not about George Floyd’s murder. And Yes, i do mean murder. The protests are about the murder of George Floyd, but the riots are about so much more.
Time after time, peaceful protests have been bashed and de-legitimized for being the “wrong way to protest”. There have been plenty of peaceful protests. The blackLivesMatter movement marching against police brutality, or NFL players Kneeling during the national anthem for the same reason. NBA players, simply wearing shirt embroidered wit ”I Can’t Breathe” in protest of the murder of Eric Garner was deemed “Inappropriate”. So now we’re at a point. You can really start at any point in american history to see where this outrage started, but let’s say, for time purposes, we started more recently. We started this week talking about how back in march, Police broke into a Louisville woman’s apartment and murdered her in her own home. We follow that up with a video of White woman threatening to call the police on a man in the park for asking her to leash her own dog. During the video, she very blatantly threatens to use the fact that the man is black against him in her call with the police. Then to round off the whole powder keg, a black man in Minneapolis was murdered by a police officer handcuffing him, then putting his knee on the man’s neck.
So how many times can a peaceful protest be ignored before it can turn violent. Too many people are quick to see the translation of anger and rage, but not want to, or care as to why the people are angry in the first place. And remember these are American citizens. They have just as much right to be PROTECTED by the police as every other citizen. And they’re not being protected at all. So as the historically disenfranchised Tear down the capitalist curtain that made them feel like less than human, maybe take that same emotion held for a burning target supermarket, and march with the people. Or even better, help them change a systemically oppressive system they’ve been wanting changed since they were brought to this country.