WHAT HAS BEEN HAPPENING IN THE WORLD?
I’ve been asking myself this very question over the past few weeks. Ever since my cousin sent me the video of Ahmaud Arbery being chased down, shot and killed.
This shooting precedes the death of Breonna Taylor, who was shot by police officers, in her own home. And then George Floyd. The murder seen around the world.
So here we are, 3 brutal murders of unarmed black men and women.
Here we are, again.
Thing is, in the past you would hear about these horrible things happening to black people around the world. You would be mortified, sickened and saddened for some time. Then, after a while life would go back to normal. For some of us.
But not for everyone.
Trevor Noah from the Daily Show explains the domino effect of what has been going on in the world. Starting with Amy Cooper, a white woman in Central Park threatening a black man to call the cops on him. She knew if she specifically told the police that an “African American man” was “recording” and “threatening” her, that they would come.
Then followed by Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. The domino effect continues, as people in the country are seeing these deaths right before their eyes. So, why now?
Well now, this time the entire world is watching. The entire world is listening, marching, protesting and waiting for justice. Is it because of COVID-19? More people are at home and not working, we have the time to keep up with the news and be reminded of the disgusting injustice in the world?
Is it because the video of George Floyd being murdered is so chilling and unbelievable?
To see a man plead for his life. To see four police offers not care. To see Derek Chauvin kneeling hard with his knee on George Floyd’s neck, hands in his pockets, so nonchalant. To see no regard for humanity. To see George Floyd’s limp and lifeless body being moved around when the paramedics arrive. To see no sign of horror, worry or shock on any of the officers faces.
There are no excuses. There is no denying it. This was police brutality on an unarmed, restrained black man. This is racism.
Here we are, again.
WHY DOESN’T IT FEEL LIKE ENOUGH?
Protests have been going on for 10 days now, in cities across the US. Most of the world has been overwhelmingly focused on the injustice, Black Lives Matter and actively finding ways to educate the next generation.
So, why doesn’t it feel like enough?
I appreciate the information being provided by so many wonderful people online. I love seeing influencers on instagram talk about the new books they are reading, businesses they are supporting and conversations they are having with black men and women. I am making a list of books I will buy for my son Benjamin, and thinking about the types of conversations I can have with my children as they grow up. Still, it doesn’t feel like enough.
WE HAVE TO START SOMEWHERE
The problems of racism, injustice and inequality requires BIG solutions. BIG changes. It requires so many of us to look inside ourselves, and dig out our deepest and darkest thoughts. To take those thoughts and acknowledge them, understand why we have them and to start changing them.
The problems of racism didn’t start with George Floyd, and it won’t end with George Floyd. But he can be the change for many of us.
The change in us to start unlearning the prejudice, judgement and racism. It may not always be obvious or intentional, but it is there. It is subtle, and I know if we look deep enough we will find something that we can change.
Because it isn’t enough. It isn’t enough in this world to just “not be racist”. We have to be “anti-racist”.
A CATALYST FOR CHANGE
I was talking to my partner Stan, expressing just how disturbing it is. The video and inactions involved in George Floyd’s death. The video of Ahmaud Arbery being chased and shot down. The injustice of it all. Black lives being threatened and taken. Where is the progress? Why is it like this? What can we do?
I know we can do better. We must do better.
Stan told me that sometimes things have to get this bad, in order for there to be change. It has to be this horrific in order to help propel a movement, and start protests. George Floyd’s murder is the catalyst for change.
I really want him to be right.
WHAT CAN WE DO?
We have to be willing to unlearn the way we think, and start adopting a new thought process. A new mindset that will support, embrace and uplift the black communities around us.
A new mindset that will unite us all. We have to be proactive with the next generation. We have to teach them before they ask “Why does that person look different than me?” They are the change we NEED in the world.
It will be a long journey to achieve this collective goal of equality. It takes all of us to start doing the work.
TIME FOR ACTION – FROM @FEMALEQUOTIENT
- Educate Ourselves
Read anti-racist works such as “Recitatif” By Toni Morrison, “Me and White Supremacy” By Layla F Saad, “The New Jim Crow” by Michelle Alexander
- Follow Share & Support
Follow the work of Black creators, journalists, leaders, activists and artists
- Start Critical Self Reflection
Come to terms with your own privilege. Learn from it and grow from it. We have to put in the work
- Show Up
Check in on your community and engage in difficult conversations – today and every day.
- Keep it Up – Even After the Outrage Dies Down
Even after the protests and posts stop, the problem will still persist. We need to keep supporting.
- Donate to Support Initiatives
The NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, The Minnesota Freedom Fund and the ACLU are few organizations.