I can go birding (#ChristianCooper)
I can go jogging (#AmaudArbery)
I can relax in the comfort of my own home (#BothemSean and #AtatianaJefferson)
I can ask for help after being in a car crash (#JonathanFerrell and #RenishaMcBride)
I can have a cellphone (#StephonClark)
I can leave a party to get to safety (#JordanEdwards)
I can play loud music (#JordanDavis)
I can sell CDs (#AltonSterling)
I can sleep (#AiyanaJones)
I can walk from the corner store (#MikeBrown)
I can play cops and robbers (#TamirRice)
I can go to church (#Charleston9)
I can walk home with Skittles (#TrayvonMartin)
I can hold a hair brush while leaving my own bachelor party (#SeanBell)
I can party on New Years (#OscarGrant)
I can get a normal traffic ticket (#SandraBland)
I can lawfully carry a weapon (#PhilandoCastile)
I can break down on a public road with car problems (#CoreyJones)
I can shop at Walmart (#JohnCrawford)
I can have a disabled vehicle (#TerrenceCrutcher)
I can read a book in my own car (#KeithScott)
I can be a 10yr old walking with our grandfather (#CliffordGlover)
I can decorate for a party (#ClaudeReese)
I can ask a cop a question (#RandyEvans)
I can cash a check in peace (#YvonneSmallwood)
I can take out my wallet (#AmadouDiallo)
I can run (#WalterScott)
I can breathe (#EricGarner)
I can live (#FreddieGray)
I CAN BE ARRESTED WITHOUT THE FEAR OF BEING MURDERED (#GeorgeFloyd)
And no, it doesn't matter if I am Hispanic, if I am Jewish, Catholic, Grey, Gay, Straight, whatever, the fact is, if you are white in America, you have a certain level of privilege that is not always afforded to the black community. That is reality...still...in 2020.
So, who was George Floyd and how has his death taken the black community to the tipping point and wreaked havoc in so many communities around the Country? And why does it matter? There is so much to discuss here. Well, let me start by saying that George Floyd was a 46-year old man, who was arrested on May 25, 2020 in Minneapolis, for allegedly trying to pass a counterfeit $20 bill at a store (either knowingly or not) during a time where he lost his job due to Covid-19. Floyd was brutally murdered by the Minneapolis police officer, who had him pinned down with his knee on Floyd's neck, while other officers looked on doing nothing. The officer callously kept the pressure on Floyd's neck, while he casually kept his hand in his pocket, as he stared into the camera of numerous cell phones. A crowd gathered as they recorded on their mobile devices what was happening and were yelling to please let Floyd stand up. The cries of "I can't breathe" were heard once again, reminiscent of Eric Garner, another incident where we watched an unarmed black person die at the hands of relentless police officers, like countless others.
Later, the authorities declared that Floyd had died at the hospital like almost half an hour after the knee incident and the autopsy (days later) claimed that he had previous medical conditions, which could have contributed to his death. Absolutely absurd!
When they tried to protest quietly and kneel at NFL games, they were criticized. When they wore t-shirts, that said "I can't breathe," they were ignored; when they gave speeches at award ceremonies talking about the inequalities they face, it once again, fell upon deaf ears. And now here we are! The black community's cry for help and empathy are not being heard. In fact, it feels as if they are completely being ignored...intentionally. The truth is the black community has had enough and rightly so.
The fact remains that GEORGE FLOYD was brutally murdered at the hands of angry, racist police officers, who chose to stand by and watch, while their fellow officer slowly pressed the life out of Floyd. Pure evil. The police officer who literally killed Floyd with his knee had been written up more than a dozen times before during his career and there were never any consequences for him. He was recently arrested as a result of public outcry and relentless protesting. The other officers have yet to be charged, as of the time this article was written.
We also have to take our power and teach our children and grandchildren that racism is wrong at every and any level! We must empower the youth of today to stand up and speak out peacefully and productively for change, as they will be the leaders of tomorrow.
If you want to make a difference and don't know what to do or say, you can always use your economic resources to help by taking action here!