Peaceful Protests And The Death of George Floyd

Another topic I never thought I would be writing about, but how could I not address what’s happening in NYC, Minneapolis, LA, and other cities around the country and the world.

First, let me acknowledge the privilege I have to even be experiencing this and writing this. I never knew and probably never will know the fear African American people face when they go out. To walk their dogs, to birdwatch, to do ordinary things during an extraordinary (and I don’t mean that in a nice way #45) time in the United States of America.

If you don’t live here, or you somehow happened to miss it tonight, Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States of America, basically threatened America with a military state. If you don’t know it yet, WAKE UP PEOPLE, we are on the brink of a dictatorship,

Donald Trump gave a speech, in which he claimed to be an ally of peaceful protests, and then called for the military to intervene if Governors refuse to gain control of these protests. Donald Trump is heading towards dictatorship, and quickly.

Friday night, Donald Trump was rushed to an underground bunker during the protests happening in Washington DC. And what did he do after? Tweet. He tweeted and tweeted, about ANTIFA, about Joe Biden. Let me make my opinion very loud and clear: there is not one iota of leadership or humanity in this man.

When Donald Trump gave this short speech, he had police break up the peaceful protest that had been going on for about eight or nine hours, near the White House in a violent manner with tear gas and rubber bullets. He did this, for a photo opportunity. He walked to a nearby historic church, which he has hardly attended since the beginning of his presidency, fumbled with a bible, and was awkwardly joined by a bunch of random white people that work for him. Like I literally could not tell you who they were.

@shityoushouldcareabout

In case you haven’t seen the horrible photos circulating, rubber bullets are causing permanent damage, with people losing eyesight, as well as sustaining other injuries. These protests are mostly peaceful, and the response from the police force is unacceptable.

But that’s what inspired these protests right? The illegal, inhumane killing of African American people in this country. I saw a post on instagram that I cannot stop thinking about, it was of the public bathrooms in Lafayette Park in Washington DC, which I recognized because I saw it live on TV last night.

(this was posted on a celebrity’s story, and I don’t remember who, so reach out if you know who I can give photo credit to)

I’ve seen a lot of people posting “All lives matter” and I’ve seen a lot of people saying “all lives matter, but that’s not what these protests are about right now” and while I’m hesitant to pick sides, the latter statement feels correct. These protests directly stem from the murder of George Floyd by former Officer Derek Chauvin.

How long does there need to be inequality before there is change? Well I think we’re there folks.

I personally have not joined the protests yet. I want to. I so strongly believe that we cannot be silent, that would make us complicit, as the Minneapolis Police Chief said to George Floyd’s family yesterday. (No genuinely, we’ve not turned the news off for almost 24 hours at this point-barring sleep of course). There are personal reasons for which I have not joined yet, but I am hoping to join the early evening peaceful protests tomorrow afternoon. Even with my crowd anxiety. Even with my germ anxiety & OCD. The group going past us tonight seemed socially distant and a lot of people wore masks.

That is my other concern. There is no matter more important the innocent loss of lives for African Americans in the United States right now, but there is a global pandemic still happening. And it seems like a lot of people have forgotten that.

And we can’t not acknowledge that there has been looting. And what happened last night in Soho, NYC is unacceptable. I have yet to find why people need to loot Chanel or Louis Vuitton in order to promote #BLM. But from what I have seen, it’s mostly white people unrelated to the cause looting,,,,

In an alarming headline that I saw this morning, Dr. Fauci states he has not spoken to Trump for two weeks. Let that sink in. The president has not spoken to arguably the most prominent person on the Coronavirus task force in two weeks. You want to know why over 105,000 people have died? That’s why. The president’s complete lack of disregard for the citizens of the United States is alarming me. And it should be alarming you too.

I don’t know what you were expecting when you clicked on the link that brought you here. I don’t know what I expected when I started writing it. I guess I just needed to share my outrage, I don’t expect you learned anything new, but I hope you understand how dire the situation in the United States is now.

To all my friends and family and people of NYC and around the country and world; be safe. Do not let your voices be silenced. Continue to fight for the freedom you have, and for the racial injustice to end in this country, Fight so others can experience the privilege some of us have when we walk down the street, with no fear of being killed by the police simply for being black,

Want to get involved but don’t feel comfortable protesting? No worries. There are many personal reasons why you might not feel comfortable. As I said, I struggle with OCD/germ anxiety as well as crowd anxiety. But there are plenty of other ways to get involved. This blog from NYU lists over 15 organizations you can donate to, in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

I hope this post imparted some new knowledge, or maybe at least affirmed your feelings that America cannot go on this way. I hope I did the black community justice by sharing the frustrations and injustice. It is no longer enough to say I don’t see colour, you must acknowledge that America is not colour-blind and the African American community needs our support right now, anyway we can manage.

xx

j

3 Comments

  1. ivanonthekeys

    It’s sad how it still goes on. Cops take oaths to generally serve and protect. Lip service which departments have long forgot the meaning of. Now they hire thugs. Why? It seems it’s easier to get a police job as the psych testing less difficult to pass than at McDonald’s. The cop in questions was an equal opportunity abuser. He hurt anyone he could get his hands on. You can see various points of the situation: Despite various non lethal pressure points that he could have taken advantage of that would have immobilized anyone handcuffed of not, he and his buddies did something unnecessary and dangerous. Then, the cop stayed on the guy’s neck after he passed out and even died. Then, he showed no sign of being in a stressed situation as he is shown to have a hand in his pocket and breathing steadily. Lastly, when he called in paramedics, he called a code 2, not three, which would have had them arrive in a hurry. In a code 2, the driver is told that there is no need to hurry, or use lights and sirens. He just didn’t give a damn about killing. He was blank. I am glad to say that not all cops are like that, but those who are must be removed. Also, they need to be trained in non-lethal restraining techniques and in de-escalating conflict techniques. Overall, it’s disgusting.

    1. Jordan Mendelson

      I agree, there were multiple (I believe 18) previous complaints about former officer Chauvin, and yet nothing was done until he actually murdered someone. I haven’t watched the full video truthfully, because I find it too difficult to watch, so I’m not sure about the paramedics situation but thank you for giving me more information and continuing to educate me. I can only hope that AG Keith Ellison will increase the charges for Derek Chauvin and have the other offices arrested. Silence is complicity.

      Furthermore, I agree that not all cops are like this. As a graduate of college with a degree in Criminal Justice & a law degree, I know a handful of police officers. I however do not think that it’s something that needs to be highlighted right now, that all cops are not like this. I think that there are clearly enough instances of black men and women dying in the United States, and around the world in the past few years (not even going back to Rodney King etc.) that there needs to be overall reform. Like you are saying, de escalation and non lethal restraint should be a big part of this.

      Thank you for reading my post, and your insightful comments. I am so glad that I am privileged enough to be able to use my platform to speak about issues like this as well.

      Stay safe & be well my friend.

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