Dear America ... George Floyd Protests
The unconscionable, disgusting, and utterly horrendous video of George Floyd being murdered on the streets of Minneapolis has taken this country to a place where we all have had to stop and reflect. When I first viewed this video, I tried so hard to imagine the pain and fear that George Floyd was experiencing. It absolutely shook me to my core. I will never forget the look on Derrick Chauvin's face as he was snuffing out the life of another African-American male. I literally wanted to jump into the video and do something to save Mr. Floyd, but I realized that nothing will be able to save Mr. Floyd, or any of the many other African-American males that have suffered the same fate. I can't explain the anger and sadness that has enveloped me since I witnessed that video. No man should EVER have to experience a death like that, and America should NEVER have to watch a video like this. When will this kind of injustice and racism end for people of color? Will we ever be able to be free in America?
I am sure there are some white people that cannot begin to understand the pain and agony African-American's feel every time we have to witness this type of hate. African-Americans have had to witness our people being killed in this country for many years. We watched the lynchings, the fire hydrant hoses used against us, the dogs sent out to attack us in the streets, our homes, and businesses being burned down by the Ku Klux Klan and other such groups. All of these years African-Americans have tried to protest peacefully, change laws when we could, and basically just get by in this country in survival mode every day. You never know, as an African-American, when you or one of your family members leave your house, whether you will return. I remember being so afraid when my oldest son got his driver's license. I remember giving him "the talk". This is the conversation you give your African-American children when they reach a certain age to protect them from police brutality or death. When African-Americans give "the talk" to their children, they explain to them the behavior they must have if they want to live to see another day. I told my children to always respect and obey the law and authority, especially the police. If you are stopped by the police, be respectful, and show your hands at all times. Even if you don't agree with the police, remember that you can always fight that fight in the Court. I have been blessed that my two sons have not had to encounter any problems with the police, but many African-American families have not been so lucky, such as George Floyd.
Why the Nationwide Protests?
The people, white, black, and many other nationalities are angry and feel helpless to all of the injustices we, African-Americans, face every day. We watched the video and the anger rose up in us like a volcano on the verge of eruption. This was the last straw. We are tired of turning the other cheek, listening to false promises of change from politicians, hoping we can pray this away. The volcano exploded when we watched this video. Enough is Enough! If we have to take to the streets until we are heard, then so be it. The pain of watching the Floyd family try to make sense of his murder is just too much for most African-Americans to witness once again.
I believe some white people have joined our cause because they were shaken by what they saw on that video. Some white people are starting to realize that racism is real in America, and if nothing is done about it, it will be the unraveling of America as we know it. I truly thank the white citizens of America that are putting their lives on the line to fight a fight they really don't have to. It is going to take ALL of us in this country to work together to root out this infection called racism.
The protests will continue until all of the four officers are held accountable for the horrendous death of George Floyd. His death will not be swept under the rug. We will not stop until justice is done, not just for George Floyd, but for all of the other senseless deaths by the hands of the police that were not caught on video, or the police officers that were never charged for the killings. What you're seeing in these protests is intense pain and frustration with a system that allows the killings of African-Americans by the police in this country. I don't believe that all police are bad, but I do believe that there are a lot of racist police officers that have murdered African-Americans, and have been protected by a system that chooses to turn a blind eye to the injustices of police in this country. It has to stop!
How Can We Stop the Protests
The first step would be to charge and arrest the other three police officers that aided and abetted the murder of George Floyd. They may not have put their knee in Mr. Floyd's neck, but they stood there and watched Mr. Floyd die a horrible death, and they did nothing about it. They should be held accountable for that.
Laws need to be reformed to protect African-Americans and people of color from these kinds of injustices. Neck restraints and chokeholds by the police should not be allowed in this country. In addition, when police officers are suspected of wrongdoing, they should be immediately arrested if there is probable cause. Police officers should not get the luxury of staying free until more evidence is gathered because the average American citizen does not get that luxury.
Once the order is restored in this country, we need our politicians, Democrats, and Republicans to begin to have a conversation as to what steps need to be taken to make sure every citizen in this country is treated fairly regardless of race, religion, or sexual orientation. These protests are continuing because a lot of people in this country want to see African-Americans and other people of color are given the same opportunities as our white citizens. We, as African-Americans deserve better access to healthcare, much more needed funding for schools, and employment opportunities that allow us to work towards homeownership and self-sufficiency. President Trump has touted the fact that he has employed a record number of African-Americans in his presidency. Providing a job is one thing, but do these jobs afford us to live the lives that so many white Americans have enjoyed. The other problem in this country is employment discrimination. I worked in banking and the legal field for many years, and I never held one job that I didn't have to endure some type of discrimination from my co-workers and supervisors. I was forced to put up with it because I had a family to feed, but this is not fair. I hear white people claim that black people don't want to work. They just want to sit around and depend on the government to support them. This is just not true for many African-Americans in this country. There are white and black people that take advantage of the system, but most African-Americans just want to work, support their families, and live a decent and peaceful life. The racism in this country makes it very difficult for people of color. You fight to get hired, you have to work twice as hard as your white co-worker, and you will probably be paid far less. I just need white people to understand that the anger is for all of the racism African-Americans have had to deal with all of these years. The situation in this country is similar to having an addiction. You first have to acknowledge you have a problem before the addiction can be cured. America needs to acknowledge the problem of racism in this country, and white and black people need to really get serious about fixing this problem because if we don't, our country will never be at peace. It's up to every single one of us to make a conscious effort to end the racism that really does exist in this country. We are all Americans, and we love our country, so why wouldn't we do everything we can to save it from destruction? UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL!!