- The week America had collective growing pains and it may have been worth it.
- The trauma of the week America had collective growing pains brought out the best and the worst in humanity.
- The reason you may have loss a few “friends” last week is because a lot of them did not understand the message, defied the message, or did not agree with the message.
Let’s say for a moment that you were suddenly faced with a global pandemic catching you completely off guard, and then you looked up and saw natural disasters left and right. Tornadoes in Louisiana, earthquakes in southern California, lighting showers in Toronto, and then you saw the video of George Floyd being murdered. Suddenly your priorities shifted, your heart broke, and you perhaps felt completely overcome with anger.
The week following May 25 changed a lot in Americans as they watched for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, George Floyd being murdered in broad daylight. The audacity of the police officer’s white privilege to kneel on the neck of all our civil rights live and broadcasted in almost real time throughout the world. For the first time in a long time, mankind was united. United against the injustice and outright violation of what America and being a decent human stands for.
One protester from the San Fernando Valley in California recounts showing up on the scene of a planned peaceful protest on the corner of Fairfax and Beverly in Los Angeles and being caught off guard as he viewed just how many non-black protesters were in attendance and all about the B.L.M. movement, and justice for George Floyd. “It almost seemed too good to be true, like is this a trap?” he recounts.
The show of unity was something unfamiliar to this protester, but maybe in that moment in time Dr. martin Luther King’s vision of white and black coming together has just now, in 2020 just been realized. Realized against hate and murder. Like many groups that have all positive intentions, Black Lives Matter has been exceptionally misunderstood until maybe right now. This last week may have just propelled the human collective into the understanding of what Kaepernick, countless protesters, generations of civil rights activists and more recently, B.L.M. have been trying to say this whole time.
The simple message is that BLACK LIVES MATTER. They are not saying they are better just that they matter enough to live. And it almost sometimes feels redundant. Why don’t people get that saying right away and accept that it is the right thing to say, without a qualifier? The trauma of the week America had collective growing pains brought out the best and the worst in humanity. Looters attempting to steal this moment, for shoes and goods from business owners and people in real pain seemed it was running rampant. Anarchist, and thieves of all races with no skin in the civil rights game were out amongst the movement posing for “protest photo opportunities.”
The images of those bad apples helped to mislead the nation on social media and other media outlets fueling an incorrect narrative and encouraging outrage for looters and vandals rather than highlighting the Murder of George Floyd and all the victims of police brutality and murder. Anonymous people were reported in multiple cities in the U.S. setting up bricks and materials that are outside of any construction zone and conveniently popping up along peaceful protest lines. Some businesses and synagogues intended to use bricks around their buildings as a perimeter from the protests and riots.
The reason you may have loss a few “friends” last week is because a lot of them did not understand the message, defied the message, or did not agree with the message. And if you do not respect and support a person fighting for their right to just “live”, than were you friends anyway? Is that even something that is up for debate? If you will not stand with someone that you say that you love and care for during the simple ask of just mattering, than what would you stand for?
Grief, anxiety, anger, sorrow, hopelessness, are all feelings that people have expressed at this time. All in all, through this historical week in America, the takeaway is clear. Even while during a pandemic, the virus of racism in America has been met with protesters choosing love, equality, and justice and risking potential infection or death from an invisible killer Covid-19, to oppose the flagrant generational, persistent optical one.
All four officers were finally arrested and charged with second degree murder on June 3, 2020. With companies like Lyft putting out a press release of support in the past week, it seems as though “Black America” has the world’s ear now. What will they do with it to bring about true lasting change to a broken system? Rev. Al Sharpton spoke on MSNBC on June 4 and pointed out that “Protesters of different ages and different races standing up together, even standing in front of the white house getting tear-gassed is perhaps an indicator that something is different this time”.
If you look at the 9 days, 350 plus cities and counting of peaceful protests across America and listen; people are organizing. The conversations are different, and the future feels hopeful.