Black Lives Matter
“America is mad at Black people for saying ‘Black Lives Matter’. We’re mad for having to say it at all”
June 6, 2020. It’s been 12 days since the heinous death of George Floyd.
It’s been 12 days since George called out for his mom in his last moments.
12 days of increased anguish and sadness and infuriation across America.
12 days of trying to find a way to put what I’m feeling into words.
I’m still processing.
Knowing what his last words were, calling out for his mother – I know every good mom felt his summon. I felt it and it’s his words, I pray, that neither of my sons will ever have to cry out.
All of this HURTS. Deeply. Badly. The hurt was there long before #GeorgeFloyd was murdered. It was there long before #BreonnaTaylor was senselessly shot in her home after a botched search warrant. Long before #AhmaudArbery was murdered by two men exercising their white privilege.
I’m angry. Angry that the progress we are making is shit on by those who believe their white skin makes them superior. I’m angry that we even have to have these conversations. Everyone’s time could be spent doing other things that would uplift our communities and each other if we didn’t have to force people to understand and accept that Black lives matter.
As if Black Americans didn’t have enough to deal with. We’re being suppressed in the workplace and suppressed within our own communities. With less access to testing and medical care coupled with underlying health disparities, COVID-19 has ravaged through Black communities.
Don’t forget that your current “leader” refuses to take a stand against racism and bring Americans together, especially during a crisis. Instead, he chooses to hide in his bunker, shut off the lights to the White House, and tweet in support of the wrong side. Meanwhile, my people continue to be murdered by overzealous cops and racists. We are living in a horror movie stuck on repeat. WHEN WILL IT END?!
I hate to say that there have been many nights where I’ve cried myself to sleep, hiding my tears and suppressing my heaves so my kids won’t hear. The reality is, there will be many more. This is not the life I signed up for, especially while I’m raising two sons.
Dear Universe, I’d like to hit the reset button now. Thanks.
Multiracial in a White World
For those who don’t know, I’m multiracial. My dad is Black and my mom is White, Korean, and Native American. So, seeing all of this unfolding is even more difficult for me to comprehend because I’m on both sides of the spectrum. I also realize that I may be treated a little differently compared to my darker shade brothers and sisters. But, I still feel the pain of my people so deeply.
My children have even more running through their veins. My oldest son’s father is Jamaican and my youngest’s son’s father is Jamaican and Chinese. As you can see from their pictures, they’re on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to their complexions. With our Black men being killed by cops at a rapid rate, you can imagine the anxiety I’m feeling just thinking about how different their lives may be. My oldest will probably be racially profiled more than his brother will be. That saddens me.
Nevertheless, I will always remain on the side of “Black lives matter”. I hate when people say “all lives matter” or “blue lives matter”. Yes, asshole, everyone’s life should matter. But the reality is, Black lives don’t matter and this is apparent with all of the footage.
There’s a relief to see some of my White counterparts speaking out more recently against racism and police brutality towards Black people. As the late Dr. King said, “there comes a time when silence is betrayal”. To be silent is to be complicit. So, please, I beg, don’t remain silent. We all need to make enough noise for there to be change and if that noise happens to make others uncomfortable, then so be it.
The Revolution is Being Televised
The Internet can be used for good and evil. Policy brutality and racism have been happening for centuries. But now we’re at this point that it’s almost a guarantee that someone will catch a racist act or murder-by-cop on video. We can thank these people, right?
I’ve heard a lot of folks blame those who record videos for not doing anything. I implore you to ask yourself though and be honest: what do you do in a moment when you are watching someone’s life slip away at the hands of a murderer? Do you risk your own life to save theirs? Do you keep recording so the world will be able to see and react? I imagine it’s a tough spot to be in.
For me, what’s really frustrating is when the video clearly shows who’s in the wrong and somehow, someone will find a way to distort it. Or that same recording can be caught from multiple vantage points and yet still, the victim is no longer the victim. It’s bullshit. I almost wish we didn’t have the ability to record and upload because it’s extremely mentally and emotionally exhausting.
The protests around the world, especially in the U.S, are a beautiful sight to behold. I don’t support the looting and destruction, but I understand the anger. Don’t let the media fool you though. Their agenda is to push the ‘Black people are violent’ narrative. Their agenda is to fuel the fire by making it seem like every Black person who’s protesting is acting like an animal. Fake news.
In fact, there is plenty of footage showing White people and cops turning peaceful protests into violent chaos. Footage of White people calling out racial slurs and attacking protestors of all races. But the media doesn’t want you to see that the White man could actually be at the center of the violence. So it is then that I’m happy that we have the ability to record and upload for all to see. We will out you, Karen!
There are tons of peaceful protests happening across the country and it’s something to be proud of. As we have seen in the past, good things can come from protesting. Good things can come from speaking out against injustices. Look how swift the (4) officers involved in George Floyd’s murder were charged. Hopefully, the convictions are just as swift. So I encourage everyone who feels impacted by what is happening to continue to protest loudly, but peacefully! We have voices to be heard!
Wolves in Sheep Clothes
I shouldn’t have to say this, but I will: not all White people are racist, and not all cops abuse their power. In fact, I strongly believe that a lot of them ARE good people. But sadly, this just can’t be blamed on a few bad apples. Instead, we have to realize that, particularly when it comes to police brutality, what is happening is predictable. The heart of our system is racist and prejudiced and these behaviors are further perpetuated by White supremacy.
Who you think is meant to serve and protect is the same person who will use their power and position to beat a man to death simply because they can. The idea that I have to teach my kids that they have to be EXTRA careful when they are around cops or certain White people gives me severe anxiety. That’s not the life I want for them! I pray often that by the time they are 17/18 years old, this world will be much less cruel and hateful.
Beauty in The Struggle
It’s hard to see it now, but I’m confident that there is a light at the end of this long-ass tunnel. I’m proud of the Black community for being so resilient, especially during times of adversity. When we come together, it’s the most beautiful thing. I’m appreciative of the White people who are not staying silent and choosing to stand against the wrongful treatment of Black people.
2020 has been a shit year so far. But, I’m going to try to look at it as the year for change. God will always make you uncomfortable when it’s time for a major shift. Just know that change is usually painful. It amplifies the discomfort and stress people feel, which, in turn, makes it difficult to take shape. But, remember that change is a process – things will always get worse before they get better.
So it’s time for the oppressed to demand their freedom! No longer can we count on the oppressor to voluntarily give it to us. Get out there and take it. Get out there and BE THE CHANGE!