I wanted to talk for a minute about what is happening in America and all across the world right now, it seemed wrong to not say anything.
During these past 6 months, we have been through a lot. The Pandemic of COVID-19 put us in our houses, then we had people protesting the virus with guns outside of government buildings, and now we have protests against police brutality happening all over the world. The pandemic is still ravagning us, over 100,000 people have died in my country alone, with 145,000 projected by the end of the next few months.
This is a time of change. 2020 doesn’t have to be a year where we sit down and just let it slide by so we can get back to being what we thought was normal. Normal sucked. Black people are being let down by our system. We thought we were living in this equal world where everyone had the same opportunities but we were so wrong for so long we just forgot how bad it was.
I failed to realize the extent of the inequality in our nation. I apologize for that, and I refuse to be naive any longer.
I see that there may be more people like me who didn’t fully recognize how bad it really was, so I want to share what really alerted me. In case it turns some heads and opens some minds.
When the wrongful slayings of black people by police first started, I had a bias to the police because I have a retired officer in my family (one of the good ones). Surely there must have been more to the story than “cop kills black man because he was black”. The system gave the cops a little slap on the wrist, gave them some time off, and then put them right back on the force. That’s not a solution, it’s just cycling the problem, allowing it to spin right back around and hit the world again. We didn’t fix their training, we didn’t change anything, just put them right back in a squad car with a gun and handcuffs.
It went on like that for years, and had been going on much longer before. There would be a killing, then it would get washed away. It was business as usual, and the usual was that black people were dying for the smallest crimes. George Floyd used a counterfeit $20 bill to buy cigarettes, and died for it. Does that sound fair? And he died in a way that I would never wish on anyone, after 9 minutes of having his neck pushed in by an officer who was suppose to protect his community.
What really caused a shift to me was the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville Virginia in 2017. Here they were, the Nazis, with their tiki torches and seig heils and assault weapons, walking through an American town in broad daylight, and our president even called them “very fine people on both sides”, even when one of them drove a car through a group of counter-protestors, killing Heather Heyer and injuring 19 other people. They were Nazi’s, and our president wasn’t condemning them.
But it was more than that. These faces behind the tiki torches were real people, in 2017, in our country. After the rally they went home, and even went to work, where maybe they held leadership positions as managers and supervisors. And they don’t all work in the same place, they worked everywhere, even out of state. And these were just the ones we saw.
On August 11 and 12th, 2017, the Unite the Right Rally proved to me that we were not as far along as I thought we were. We had snakes in our beds. And after the rally ended … we forgot.
Then the bodies kept piling up, and we kept sweeping it under the rug. But that was “normal”, that was “fair”, wasn’t it?
Cut to 2020, pandemic. We had people protesting (sure… peacefully) with Walmart tactical gear on so they can get a haircut and essentially force people to work and risk their lives. These same guys who would gladly protest implied faults against the second ammendment, completely ignore the blantant faults against the first ammendment when our president tear gassed a crowd of peaceful protestors to get a crappy photo op in front of a church he’s never been to, without stopping to pray or even open the bible—or even hold it right-side up. These “good old boys” who wanted freedom against a tyrannical government imposing—gasp! MASKS on citizens; do nothing when the President forces a crowd to disperse illegally for his own spiritiality baiting.
Rioting and looting occured, sometimes instigated by white people to detract from the cause (remember those Nazi’s I mentioned before, they didn’t just disappear.) As bad as it is to see businesses who may have been innocent get burned down and looted, I felt like it was neccessary. We were boiling our pot for too long and it was inevitable that the water would spill out.
“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”
~ John F. Kennedy.
You are not suppose to be comfortable with a protest, it is not suppose to be convenient, and consider what would have happened if it never occurred—we would have swept it under the rug, again.
So this time we don’t get to sweep it under the rug. This time we have to listen. I was blind to it for too long and I refuse to be naive any longer. If you have decided to ignore what is happening, or choose to hate and not listen, then expect more protests and maybe even more violence. Changing hearts and minds is a huge part of this progress we are striving for, keeping an open mind and listening to what is happening is a giant leap for mankind.
I have donated to a few causes. If you would like to do the same I think it would go miles.
Black Lives Matter
It’s time we set our minds to being better.
Let’s make 2020 count, let’s make it the year we make humanity better.