Lifestyle

A riot is the language of the unheard.

People stand outside the Minneapolis police 3rd Precinct building after fires were set at the building, Thursday, May 28, 2020, in Minneapolis, during demonstrations over the death George Floyd on Monday in Minneapolis police custody.  (Carlos Gonzalez/Star Tribune via AP)

I sit here in disbelief. The divide in this nation has reached a breaking point, with yet again another viscous murder of an unarmed Black man. I needed to take a break from the news, my heart hurting for this world, bringing me to tears. I decided to document my emotions, including writing this post. Firstly, I would like to clarify something; if you weren’t concerned when white men armed with assault rifles were marching demanding haircuts, then why is it that these riots bother you? We cannot continue on the hamster wheel we’ve been on. It’s clear to see that privilege is so deeply engrained, you no longer care about those who struggle as long as you’re comfortable in your life. There are anarchist disguised in the crowd that are either paid to or take it upon themselves to destroy the validity of the cry for justice by setting fires and vandalizing. Using these protests to distract from the point of why they’re really happening. Many of you seem to be unaware how this country was acquired to begin with, it was savagely taken from our Native Americans; their land stripped from them, their burial grounds destroyed with no reparations. Let me also mention how they hold the highest percentage of COVID-19 cases receiving no aid from the government. There’s so much of our history as a nation that was omitted to give us a false sense of pride. Something that also was excluded from the school history books, the 1922 attack on Tulsa’s affluent black community named “Black Wall Street” where hundreds of black lives were destroyed simply because they didn’t want blacks in Tulsa. There are still ” Sundown States” in this nation, look it up. These crimes aren’t new, this is still present day struggles; it is not only our past. When the constitution was written it was written for the men who ran this country not the people who built it.

In case you needed to be reminded why people are protesting to begin with, let me just name a few of the victims:

Eric Garner had just broken up a fight, according to witness testimony.

Ezell Ford was walking in his neighborhood.

Michelle Cusseaux was changing the lock on her home’s door when police arrived to take her to a mental health facility.

Tanisha Anderson was having a bad mental health episode, and her brother called 911.

Tamir Rice was playing in a park.

Natasha McKenna was having a schizophrenic episode when she was tazed in Fairfax, Va. 

Walter Scott was going to an auto-parts store.

Bettie Jones answered the door to let Chicago police officers in to help her upstairs neighbor, who had called 911 to resolve a domestic dispute.

Philando Castile was driving home from dinner with his girlfriend.

Botham Jean was eating ice cream in his living room in Dallas.

Atatiana Jefferson was babysitting her nephew at home in Fort Worth, Texas.

Eric Reason was pulling into a parking spot at a local chicken and fish shop.

Dominique Clayton was sleeping in her bed. 

Breonna Taylor was also asleep in her bed.

And George Floyd was at the grocery store.

SAY THEIR NAMES! they are not a hashtag, they were people who’s lives was taken by men who shouldn’t of been in a position of power to begin with. Why is it so easy to become a cop? With very little training a person is handed over a gun, following man made laws to keep its people oppressed. I see a lot of people who were bullied in school who use this as a way to bully back. Excessive force should never be an option, if you are trained to “keep the law” you shouldn’t be making your own rules. You should not be given the power to take a life away. Shame on those officers who hide behind their badge and just follow orders, same goes to the people defending the need to have them do whatever they deem fit.

Demonstrators marched in Berlin on Sunday to protest the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis. Credit… Sean Gallup/Getty Images

This is not the first time we use a hashtag with hopes of bringing justice, for yet again another black person who was executed right in front of our own eyes. Though the use of the hashtag spreads the awareness, this is going to take more than retweets. The acquittals of every one of the officers involved in each case proves this is much bigger than a few bad cops. This is a systematic problem. There is never an acceptable way to protest for the privileged, for those men and women who because of their race or status have sat by and watched this play out like a movie for their entertainment. With all the facts coming into light, it makes me realize how all of this is a distraction to some other agenda. This country that claims to be free is far from that. The reason I feel this is a distraction is the obvious divide this has caused yet again, they distract us with race because they know we will fall into our roles and labels. If we united we’d be far stronger, and this is something they know. There’s so much we aren’t aware of, that if we were aware I dont think we’d be able to handle it. People want the truth, they want freedom, but what comes with it is a collapse of everything we’ve known to love and cherish. Money is the pursuit of happiness to many, celebrities are an added distraction, we often focus on their lifestyle as a goal to being successful. While the many hidden agendas play out in the background. The recent “exposure” by the anonymous movement, further proves my point. Now we will focus on that instead of what’s really important.

Protesters gather in front of a liquor store in flames near the police building in Minneapolis. Photo: AFP

This is an election year, and somehow we’ve been given so much to deal with; I dont remember a year that I felt such unease and uncertainty. And at the same time I see things clearer. I am upset, at everything, but I feel that this is only the beginning. Most men elected into power do not have the American people in their agenda, it’s a business. What can we believe to be true? Media is twisted, online publications can be false. I hate falling in line with what’s “trending”, I like to form my own opinion based on facts. The fact is there’s always a racial event that happens, an uprising that somehow is silenced and life returns to “normal”. It’s a pattern. Make America great again became a statement of divide, a painful reminder for people of color that it never was great for us. The world I viewed as so full of possibility in high school, somehow morphed into a dystopian universe. My husband reminded me, we have made huge steps towards freedom in the past. It just saddens me that this is still a huge problem we face. I have hope for the future even if the present is bleek, we just go through the storms to see the light. So how can we help? Do we march? Do we protest or boycott? We need organization, we need leaders to step up with solutions, we don’t need more hashtags, we need change.

NYC based Blogger and Podcast Host, Advocate for Empowement and Mental Health Awareness

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