I am furious. I thought I’d begin with that, because the rest of this piece is going to be filled with a visceral, heady sense of rage, so you might as well know right off the bat that I am so irrevocably, indescribably furious. Furious at what continues to be condoned, furious at what continues to be swept under the rug, and furious at what continues to defy- what continues to spit in the faces of human rights. Of love. Of joy and warmth and equality and all the things that make life worth living.
People are dead and they aren’t coming back. Death has always been mystifying- the concept of finality is a tough idea to bank upon. But it’s been an inevitable of life and, for some reasons that I won’t even begin to explain because by now, we should know them all too well, an inevitable outcome of cruelty.
I don’t know fear like that- I doubt I ever will. I’m not Black. I have never been discredited, demeaned, or violently targeted because of my race. But that doesn’t mean I don’t hear the grief, because, God, it’s so, so heavy. I hear the cries of the mourning, of the afraid. My heart aches. And I know that nothing I can say will ever be enough, and please, feel free to correct me if I’m going about this the wrong way, but I will never not ache, never not grieve the blatant discrimination and horror that we’ve seen. The horror that has been felt, that has been experienced by many of whom I do not know and many of whom I do.
My blood boils with unbridled, unadulterated fury- so much so that it’s stifling; suffocating. At the same time, the marrow in my bones has chilled in tight, cold, bitter fear. I’m a dichotomy of spitting, wildfire and frigid, joint-locking ice, and I’m sure a lot of you are, too.
George Floyd had the knee of a cop pressed to his neck and he died.
“I can’t breathe.”
And those cops just stared. They heard the pleas, the blatant, frantic fear of a man seeing death closing in over his vision, and they stared. It’s not the first time.
I will not hear excuses. “Cops see a lot of bad stuff- we don’t know his story,” and, “Not all cops,” are dismissals of a murderer. We can’t afford to have bad cops. We can’t afford to have people abuse their authority and get away with it. If a cop has “seen bad stuff,” and then proceeds to take it out on others, then they should get a psych eval and resign, because this isn’t just any occupation. This is law enforcement. This is supposed to be justice. And it’s so blatantly not.
I will not hear ignorance. This goes for myself, too- I will not get on a high horse and pretend I understand things I don’t think I ever will. I did not lose a family member or a friend to preventable events. “Preventable events”- I mean murder. That’s what it was. I won’t do it the injustice of calling it anything less- euphemisms are not employable here. This is supposed to be uncomfortable. It’s supposed to make your skin itch. It was murder and it was at the hands of an officer that was supposed to make us feel safe.
So, if you want to continue to champion patriotism, clamor over a country that values honor, strength, and courage, and neglect to see it in the people raising their voices, arms, and souls to be heard, that sucks for you. If you want to turn your nose up in disdain and trot around like a pretentious pony pulling a trolley in Victorian England, that sucks for you. And if you want to continue to turn a blind eye to the people languishing in this verisimilitude of unity under the guise of our “great” nation… you get the point.
If you are willing to listen, if you are willing to learn, and if you are willing to see, do so right now. Because our love for humanity should always prevail over the comfort of convention.
Preach equality. Practice love. Fight anything that suggests otherwise. Because John Locke figured out a long time ago- long before society had the guts to practice what they preached- that humans hold intrinsic value. Life, liberty, property.
Black lives matter.
Sydnie has taken the words out of my mouth, this issue is an important one that we need to speak out and stay educated on. We cannot stay blind and silent on the intense issue of racism and the flaws within the system. The question we need to ask ourselves most is who will protect us from the police? What are you to do when the protectors are the ones harming us the most?
I most certainly didn’t want to stay quiet and not show my support. At this time, the community needs us to sign petitions, text, donate, raise awareness, and speak out. I personally have signed petitions and posted on social media to spread awareness, but I feel like I need to do more. Hence, why I’m joining forces with my wonderful co-admin and creating this post.
Sydnie gave you the cause, and now I will give you the action. I will be adding all sorts of ways you can help. Links to petitions, places to donate, numbers you can text; the whole nine yards. Please, stand with us because black lives are human lives.
- “FLOYD” to 55156
- “JUSTICE” to 668366
- Mayor Jacob Frey: (612)-673-2100
- Minneapolis Police Union: (612)-788-8444
- The Minnesota Freedom Fund: https://minnesotafreedomfund.org/
- North Star Health Collective: https://www.northstarhealthcollective.org/
- George Floyd Memorial Fund: https://www.gofundme.com/f/georgefloyd
- Change the NYPD: https://www.changethenypd.org/
- Black Lives Matter: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ms_blm_homepage_2019
- Campaign Zero: https://www.joincampaignzero.org/
- Defund The Police: https://blacklivesmatter.com/defundthepolice/
- Raise The Degree: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/raise-degree-remove-bail-derek-chauvin-murderer-george-floyd
- Justice For George Floyd: https://www.change.org/p/mayor-jacob-frey-justice-for-george-floyd
- Justice For Ahmaud Arbery: https://www.change.org/p/district-attorney-tom-durden-justice-for-ahmaud-arbery-i-run-with-maud
- Justice For Tony McDade: https://www.change.org/p/black-lives-matter-activists-justice-for-tony-mcdade
- Change.org: https://www.change.org/search
- Ways To Support The Black Lives Matter Movement: https://ucsdguardian.org/2020/05/31/ways-to-support-the-black-lives-matter-movement/
- Black Lives Matter: https://blacklivesmatter.com/
- Campaign Zero: https://www.joincampaignzero.org/