After the horrible death of George Floyd, protests erupted in the streets with a clear message of enough is enough. After what seems like an endless stream of murdered African Americans by police or some form of security. The lack of justice yet again finally boiled over for many Americans everywhere and people took to the streets despite the threat of COVID-19 looming over our heads. Many understood that life is valuable and what was the point in staying in our homes to safeguard life when many of our own were being brutally beaten and killed by those we have trusted to protect us.
These times have been confusing and I don’t think anyone would argue with the notion that the year 2020 has sucked. A lot of bad has happened and it seems just when we are adjusting something else inevitably happens. In fact, it seems for the past few years each year has just gotten progressively crappier as time went on. So much so that I was starting to give up hope on the America I loved and I truly thought the America I grew up in just might be dead…that is until the recent Black Lives Matter protests started.
I cried because what seemed like a people broken beyond repair were now coming together. I saw people from all walks of life, color, political belief, and religious beliefs coming together to fight for our fellow black Americans. I cried because the America I thought was long gone suddenly was back. People rallying together to fight what was wrong with our country and trying their best to make themselves heard. To force change to happen now so our children can live in a better future.
Suddenly it no longer mattered where on the political spectrum you fell because people of all sides could agree that the brutality that people of color face is wrong. That there was no excuse for this behavior. You fell into one of two groups. This is racist, hateful, wrong and this MUST stop NOW or the people who are afraid to admit to themselves racism might still be a problem today. The people who argue it was just a few bad apples or that all lives matter. The people who can’t admit to themselves that they just might be racist.
I cried because yet another person of color was unfairly treated, begged to just be able to breathe, to be heard, and whose life was cruelly snuffed out while people stood by and begged for mercy for him. The cruelty was laid bare before the world as video of this horrible act swept like wildfire across the web making everyone confront the uncomfortable truth. Not only was racism alive but we hadn’t done anything to stop this. It lit a fire under us and woke us up to the cruelty we have been allowing to take place every day.
I cried because I couldn’t understand how a person who swore to protect the people could kneel on a person’s neck as they pleaded to be able to breathe. As they cried out I can’t breathe over and over and for that man to continue to rob this man of the air he needed to live. How can someone casually take life so cruelly and think they did nothing wrong?
I cried because our justice system has been broken for a long time and this time I am hoping real change will take place. Better training and stricter screening to weed out those with hateful beliefs that might make them a threat to the American people. By American people, I mean people of all colors, creeds, religion, sexuality, and disabilities.
I cried because there is a part of me that is afraid that this to will eventually be swept under the rug. That the change many are hoping, praying, and fighting for won’t come. That our voices will once again ring hollow and fall on deaf ears.
I cried because of the many lives that also were lost because of this senseless brutality and only now are so many saying enough is enough. A part of me wonders why this didn’t happen so many lives ago.
I cried because I have hope. I cried because I am afraid. I cried because life has been lost. I cried because despite the horribleness just maybe something good can come from it.
I cried because so many are finally listening to their fellow Black Americans and helping them fight for the rights they should have had all along. The right to be treated like a human being. The right to be treated with dignity and respect. The right to justice and a fair trial without racism standing in the way of it all. The right to walk alongside us as equals.
I cried because no amount of apologies for the cruelties committed by people with my skin color will ever make this right. All I can hope for is that everyone crying for change is heard. That change happens and that together we can heal and make a better future.