I would like to offer a perspective that may seem controversial to some; this is a time to keep context. Please read through to the end.
- Systemic racism
- Police brutality
- Racial disparities, drug policy, and policing
- Harsh criminal sentences
- Mass shootings
- Hate crimes
- Access to healthcare
- The rights of older people in “care” facilities
- Surveillance and data protection
- Nation-to-nation foreign policy
- Human trafficking
- Women and girl’s rights
The world has an exhausting list of issues to work through. Like any project, not everything can be tackled at once, but when any of them (and all not listed) are left alone for too long, or left in a complacent state of being, it simmers over time, and what we are experiencing today, following the death of George Floyd is the result. Every human right’s issue hits a boiling point.
Floyd was not a stand-up citizen, and he is not a martyr – he is another life lost in a deep history of unjust events of overused use-of-force by law officials. George Floyd did not have to die. Police officers involved have been reprimanded, unlike so many others that have received merely a slap on the hand or less. Their punishments had much to do with the voices of citizens not only in the United States, but from around the world! It is not First Degree Murder the main culprit has been charged with, but it has been upped to Second Degree from Third Degree Murder. Not all wins are 100%; compromises must still be made. This is a compromise that still contributes positively to the greater cause; let us keep pressing on to fix the injustices that surround all of us, and particularly our black and brown brothers and sisters.
Remember him. Say his name: George Floyd!
Remember them. Say their names:
- On May 6, Indianapolis police killed Dreasjon “Sean” Reed.
- On March 13, Louisville, Ky., police killed Breonna Taylor as she lay in her own bed.
- On Feb. 23, in Glynn County, Ga., Ahmaud Arbery, shot dead.
BUT do. Not. Lose. Focus.
George Floyd’s death is the latest in a long line of African American men that died at the hands of police officers. His death is a realization, a reckoning, a symbol that things in America really do need to change. This is not a black movement, this is an American movement.
America is divided, more now than ever before. This issue, in addition to a human right’s concern, is a political issue — please, go out and VOTE.
Vote for people who WILL make change on the federal level. Example, after a mass shooting, politicians make promises and then do not follow through. Hold your local law enforcement accountable. Make your representatives hear you and honestly represent you.
Through our voices being heard, George Floyd’s death has provoked a demand in police reform, and we have been heard! I believe that due to recent protests, the police officers involved received a more appropriate sentence than they would have without our voices. These issues will remain a constant struggle, we must remain vigilant.
It has been made clear that we do not have “Equal Justice Under Law.”
Think of each of these human rights issues as a house on fire. A house with the most flames will take priority from the majority, and this is sometimes how shit gets done. Do not lose focus by getting so wrapped up in the details of each incident for too long, but raise a voice for all the lives lost and forever affected to the greater story that needs reform. All these issues stem from the way this nation was built, the disgusting habits developed and allowed to continue, and the unfair treatment of certain communities that have persisted for hundreds of years.
“If you stick a knife in my back nine inches and pull it out six inches, there’s no progress. If you pull it all the way out, that’s not progress. Progress is healing the wound that the blow made. And they haven’t even pulled the knife out much less heal the wound…” Malcolm-X
Rioting takes away from the core message. As American’s we have the right to protest peacefully, even with great anger deep inside of us; let it come out, but do not wreak havoc and create deeper problems than what we already have.
Currently, our leadership is null. The United States has a Commander and Chief that insights violence, promotes racist ideology, and has made no efforts to unite Americans. Unity is going to be up to us! We are not united until every community, and all cultures in our country are recognized and awarded equal rights.
All officials in government and local law enforcement MUST be held accountable for their lack of upholding the United States Constitution and fundamental human rights. It is up to all of us to come together to regain, reform, and pave the way for a healthier and compassionately sustainable nation.
All lives will matter when the lives of our black brothers and sisters matter. Many of us have friends and family who serve in the police force and military ranks; they too must speak up and be on the side of maintaining peace and unity, equally, among every skin color, gender, culture, and belief. They, too, must hold their co-workers, battle buddies, and partners accountable, so we can move forward with a system that serves and protects everyone, and punishes appropriately.
“…a great nation is a compassionate nation. No individual or nation can be great if it does not have a concern for ‘the least of these’.” Martin Luther King, Jr