While the American president hides in the white house bunker, people all over the world are shouting for justice. Black Americans have the highest chance of getting killed by police, and that’s why the streets are now ringing out with the chant “no justice, no peace”. These protests are for the 1,229 Black Americans killed by police that we AT LEAST know about. These protests are for the five percent of Canada’s population that is Indigenous, who also account for 36% of the RCMP’s fatalities. These protests are also for the 434 Indigenous Australians who have died at the hands of police since 1991. The numbers are disproportionate everywhere, and it is time the world wakes up.
On May 25, 2020, George Floyd was murdered by a Minneapolis police department officer in broad daylight. Floyd was buying groceries in Minneapolis when he was accused of using counterfeit money. A non-violent crime, which in return for some reason warranted four police officers to show up. After being taken to the ground and handcuffed, officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, killing him. Darnella Frazier, 17, recorded the tragic event that has now garnered attention worldwide. Protests have taken place on every continent besides Antarctica, with at least 60 countries taking place in the movement. This is one of the biggest movements of our lifetime, and rightfully so.
Black Americans only account for 13% of the United States population, but are twice as likely to be killed compared to White Americans. This is blatant racism, there is no getting around it. Black Americans have to factor in their race for a lot of things they do, and that is directly related to statistics like this. Not having to think twice about doing simple things like driving shows the privilege most of the population gets. This is exactly why people are protesting.
The civil rights movement between 1954 and 1968 consisted of lengthy protests, and rallies demanding equality for African Americans. And the protests worked. The Civil Rights act, passed only 55 years ago in 1964, outlaws discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. But outlawing racism is not the same as ending it.
It is now 2020, and it seems as if we are doing it all over again. But now there is more pressure, and the stakes are even higher. The protesters with George Floyd’s name on their back are demanding that people of color, specifically Black people, stop being killed by police.
Some racist critics may say, “Well if he wasn’t doing anything bad they wouldn’t have arrested him.”
Floyd wasn’t arrested, he was murdered. Breonna Taylor wasn’t arrested, she was shot in her bed while asleep. Darnesha Harris wasn’t arrested, she was murdered.
The gunman who murdered nine people in the Charleston church shooting on June 17, 2015 was committing a violent crime and managed to walk away alive. But then again, he was white. And that’s the problem. Black people are policed so heavily compared to white people, making the violence and brutality mainly fall on them. Four police officers for fake money? That wouldn’t happen to someone who white.
Is it any wonder people, minorities, are only getting angrier? They can’t keep seeing their people die because of an underlying racist system, so when will we start to address it as a nation?
Trump can hide, tweet, and tantrum behind his Home Depot gate down in his bunker all he wants. But trying to deploy Martial Law won’t get him anywhere. The people are done with a racist system that kills them and are ready to do anything to make it collapse. The uproar from the oppressed and their allies are only getting louder.
Allies, now is the time to use the privileged you have. If you’ve never spoken out against racism, now is time to start. If you aren’t familiar with the Black Lives Matter movement, google it. Become aware of the injustices in our everyday lives. That, by the way, is the easy part. What’s harder is acknowledging it in YOUR everyday life, and even harder is whether or not you will do your part past reading this post to make a difference.
Now is not the time to stay silent. People of color have had years of oppression in countries they built. Your privilege is built on their suffering.
As the president continues to coward in a bunker of photo opps, misinformation and tears, the task at hand is clear. We must fight for Black lives, now.
Black lives matter, today, tomorrow and forever.
Rest in Peace to George Floyd and all the others who have lost their lives to police brutality.
Police brutality rates for Black Americas, Indigenous Canadian, and Indigenous Australian:
Who is Darnella Frazier? Watch here:
Video of attorney Ben Crump explaining Floyd’s the cause of death:
CONTAINS GRAPHIC CONTENT video of Floyd’s death in police custody (edit by Washington Post):
Overall police fatalities in the U.S. from 2017-2020: