Photo courtesy: Xena Goldman
I would like to start this part off by stating the events of the past week are ‘like no other’, ‘unprecedented’, or ‘shocking’ and sadly I cannot. The truth is, it is all too common and a repetitive pattern in our culture that is the shocking part.
Issues of police brutality, violence against black individuals, systemic racism, and a division among races have become all too frequent and it must stop.
Whether the killing of George Floyd is going to be that tipping point for change remains to be seen. But people are tired of waiting and people are terrified. People of color are living in a world that contains different realities than the ones I’m able to enjoy and take for granted daily.
I’ve been pulled over for speeding during my life – with zero fear there was a chance it could be the end of my life.
I have gone jogging by myself without the thought of anyone gunning me down.
When I walk into a store, I’m never told to walk out or made to feel unwelcome.
I’ll never have the experiences or fears that so many of my friends, colleagues, and citizens face daily. Those who approach the world with an optimism that I can’t say I would possess in their shoes. They are the heroes of this story. The ones who are not learning of an unjust system in the past seven days but ones who have lived with one their entire lives and still put on a strong face to attack the world with change.
Let’s never forget the events of this weekend because it’s time for all of us to wake up and help those that have been screaming for it a lot longer than the past seven days.
From Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Op-Ed in the Los Angeles Times:
Yes, protests often are used as an excuse for some to take advantage, just as when fans celebrating a hometown sports team championship burn cars and destroy storefronts. I don’t want to see stores looted or even buildings burn. But African Americans have been living in a burning building for many years, choking on the smoke as the flames burn closer and closer. Racism in America is like dust in the air. It seems invisible — even if you’re choking on it — until you let the sun in. Then you see it’s everywhere. As long as we keep shining that light, we have a chance of cleaning it wherever it lands. But we have to stay vigilant, because it’s always still in the air.
Ava DuVernay’s excellent documentary ‘13th’ and the alarming escalation of incarceration and who has been targeted:
From Barack Obama’s statement:
This shouldn’t be “normal” in 2020 America. It can’t be normal. If we want our children to grow up in a nation that lives up to its highest ideas, we can and must be better.
It will fall mainly on the officials of Minnesota to ensure that the circumstances surrounding George Floyd’s death are investigated thoroughly and that justice is ultimately done. But it falls on all of us, regardless of our race or station – including the majority of men and women in law enforcement who take pride in doing their tough job the right way, every day – to work together to create a “new normal” in which the legacy of bigotry and unequal treatment no longer infects our institutions or our hearts.
Dr. Cornel West speaking with Anderson Cooper on CNN:
If you do one thing today, watch this clip of Cornel West on CNNpic.twitter.com/QarHhvj0J5
— ex-twink persister🍥#blacklivesmatter (@twinkpersister) May 30, 2020
Journalists at several protests were injured, arrested by police (Washington Post)
Photos from the George Floyd Protests, City by City (New York Times)
Audio: The latest from the protests in Minneapolis (The Daily)
Audio: A Decade of Watching Black People Die (NPR)