The past weak has been, for lack of a better term, insane. If you are inside of the US right now, I don’t think I’ll need to explain, but for those who don’t know, I will.
On the 25th of March, something shocking came to light. The death of a man named George Floyd swept the nation and the citizens of our country were disgusted by what they saw. Evidence surfaced of how a cop knelt on the neck of George Floyd after in an attempt to detain him. This resulted in his death because of a lack of asphyxiation. He even told the officer that he couldn’t breathe and his please were ignored. Floyd was a 46-year-old African-American male and this was a perfect example of how African-Americans have been victims of cop brutality. This isn’t anything new to the world, but after this event, the response escalated to the point where it could no longer be ignored. To people that tried their best to turn their backs on the situation, the protests that started because of this made it impossible to look away. This exploded and became a movement telling the rest of the world that black lives matter. I’m here to talk about my thoughts, personal experience with this, and ways you can help even after the protests die down. It’ll be a long-winded one, but I will put my heart and soul into this. I will say everything that I’ve felt over this past week and, for once in my life, will voice this opinion as loudly as I can. If this bothers you, then I advise that you don’t look away. This should bother you and it should bother anyone who reads it because the way things are now, we should not accept it, and we never should.
My Personal Experience
I’m going to talk about my personal experiences first. I am a 25-year-old half white and half Hispanic male. I take after my mom so I look like your average white male. If I took after my dad, I could’ve seen my life being different. Growing up in Oklahoma, I lived next to another Hispanic family and became childhood friends with my neighbor. As a kid, I never questioned the color of anyone’s skin. I even went to a school where white kids were the minority. Thinking back on it, my first experience with racism was with a cop. My dad got pulled over and my mom was in the car with him. I distinctly remember how that cop treated my mom differently than he treated my dad. Back then I didn’t realize it, but now I see that he saw my dad’s skin color and assumed the worst. Upon seeing my mom, his attitude changed and we were let go without a ticket. Over time, I moved away from our city (Oklahoma City) and moved to another one that was less diverse. Racism became clear to me and slowly I started to understand. I had friends who feared cops just because they weren’t white. I didn’t understand it at the time and even to this day, I can’t understand it. Not that I don’t see what’s going on, but because I look white, I have never had to experience that fear. I can stand behind people who have and support them, but I can never know what that’s like.
My Thoughts on George Floyd
So what do I take from recent events? I am absolutely revolted by not only how our government has treated this situation, but also how the world has. I have seen videos of cops throwing tear gas at innocent peaceful protestors and stories of them macing a 10-year-old kid! Who does that? A cop is supposed to serve and protect us and they are willingly harming us to quiet our voices. Over this past week, I’ve seen countless atrocities highlighting how prevalent our corrupt system has become. We’ve elected a president who is obviously racist and has allowed it to seem okay to be racist yourself. We allowed a horrible person like Trump to be in office and lead our nation destruction. The world has literally been on fire and he was hiding away in a bunker or tear-gassing people so he could get a photo op in front of a church!
Another big problem people seem to have is the rioting and looting. What is my take on this? Well, I am never going to be someone who advocates for violence. I am a pacifist at heart, but even then I can’t fully stand against them for that. People have responded with anger and violence because they feel that they have nowhere else to turn. I am aware that not everyone standing against how George Floyd’s death was handled is a rioter. There are people who are using this as an opportunity to loot and cause destruction. I cannot approve of those who would want to cause chaos just because they can and not because they are hurting. Everyone will remember this moment in the future and the rioting just puts the world on red alert which is what, I believe, makes this something that can no longer be ignored. I don’t want the voices of those revolted by George Floyd’s death to be snuffed out in six months. This needs to be a wake-up call that is screams we will no longer allow this to go on. Even if that cop is fully prosecuted (along with the others involved) we need to make sure that the rest of the crooked cops are off our streets. When someone wears that badge and takes an oath to protect us, we need to make sure that they are there to protect, not harm. We need a president who doesn’t threaten a military presence because he’s afraid of the power that the people have. To everyone who walks the streets in protest, please stay safe, and continue allowing your voices to be heard. The world cannot know peace until there is justice for what has happened.
What Can You Do?
My last point will be one I’m sure you’ve heard before. How can you help? If you want to protest, then pick up your signs, and allow your voice to be your weapon. They may use rubber bullets and tear gas, but our words are just as powerful. With a pandemic still on our hands or fear for your own safety, I understand those who stay inside. Just because you do stay inside, doesn’t mean you can’t help. Use whatever influence you have to spread awareness and voice your own opinion. Whether you’re someone of color or if you’re white, your voice can be heard. If you are of Caucasian origin, just make sure that you are supporting those who have been hurt, and not making this about yourself. Stand behind and not in front. Add your voice, don’t drown other people’s out. Show the world how it should be and don’t give in to how it is.
Finally, there is one last thing you can do. You can sign petitions, donate, and reach out the best you can in other ways. I’ll provide a link below filled with resources. Financially, I haven’t been able to contribute, but I implore that you do if you can. Petitions are always a solid way to contribute as well. You’ll find plenty of them to support those who are victims. Regardless of your situation, there are always ways to help. Now is not the time to close your eyes and stay quiet. We need to do everything in our power to fix these injustices. Stay strong and keep pushing as hard as you can. Don’t stop until the world has changed.