It’s been 88 days since the unjust murder of George Floyd at the hands of police. 161 days since the unjust murder of Breonna Taylor at the hands of police (her killers of which, have YET to be arrested). And 180 days since the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, at the hands of a former police officer. As of August 6th, 146 Black people have been killed by police, and that number doesn’t seem to be dwindling. (For all of you who are reading this and thinking, “But more white people were killed by police!”, dust off your grammar school books and re-learn proportions). Unjust murders by police officers are an issue for any race, but Black people are disproportionately affected by this. That is a FACT. It is not open for interpretation, and it should NOT be disputed. Facts aren’t your feelings, they are what actually is.
As a result of these murders, people of all shades took to the streets to protest by the thousands. Blacked-out social media posts filled our feeds, calls for support of Black businesses took over the news headlines, and companies put out lukewarm statements showing their “support” of the issues, along with pledges of a few thousand here and there to Black organizations. Companies held tearful emergency listening sessions for their employees, and topics that are typically seen as taboo were brought to the forefront. America, it seemed, had ripped the oozing band-aid off of its biggest wound, one that, hundreds of years later, still hasn’t healed.
But that was last month, and the month before. This month? I’m pressed to wonder if the outrage has sustained. Actually, I know outrage can’t be sustained for an extended period of time, that’s almost impossible. I should say, I’m more so wondering if the promises for action have sustained. I mean, are y’all still mad? Are we, victims of racism and allies alike, still fighting for the cause? In this age of fast news and distractions, many of us have moved on to the next interesting thing. I think right now, the big focus is everyone’s newfound hatred for Kamala Harris, but that’s another post. But what has happened to making a change?
For myself, my friends, my family – we ARE still angry. It is an anger that has always lived within our souls, because injustice hasn’t ceased, nor has it slowed. Every week, we learn of a new infraction, one that adds infectious dirt to our deep, never-healing wound. I can recall dealing with the deaths I cited above, and then learning about Elijah McClain. I had just begun my healing from the other murders, but that one? I cried. I cried every day, and I’m struggling to not cry right now. You see, Elijah resembled someone I grew up with, in his appearance, and the way he was described. And I can’t help but see my friend in his face, so it hurts even more. And people wonder why we say, “No justice, no peace”? How can you move on and NOT care? How can you believe that every person that is murdered “deserved it”? Isn’t it a right, even for crime suspects, to be allowed due process, without power-hungry beat cops thinking they are judge, jury, and executioner? Are we not allowed to be outraged that we are held to certain laws, but police officers can live above that same law and treat citizens as they please? You can’t scream about democracy and rights and then turn a blind eye when someone who doesn’t look like you isn’t granted those same privileges.
If you believe in democracy, you should want everyone to be granted the same rights. And if you don’t believe that, you are a part of the problem. If you don’t believe that, then you are on the other side. Yeah, all lives matter, but if your version of all lives only includes white Americans, then you don’t truly believe in your own statement. Stop ignoring the fact that Black people have yet to be treated as full citizens of this country. Stop pretending that slavery ended and we were magically equal with white people. Stop pretending that this country hasn’t worked HARD to disenfranchise Black people on every element of what is granted to those that are considered citizens (go read about redlining and eminent domain abuses). Stop ignoring that almost every other ethnic group that has been wronged in this country, with the exception of Black Americans, has been made amends to. Because if you’re not still mad, you should be.