I must preface this by stating that everything I write here is purely my own opinion and personal feelings about this topic. I am a guest writer on this blog, and my opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions or feelings of anyone else.
The murder of George Floyd has seared my soul. I will never forget watching that video on the news, feeling the minutes stretch out, and hearing Floyd’s hoarse, breathless voice pleading, “please…I can’t breathe.”
I’ll never forget my feeling of pure, unadulterated horror as I watched a white cop deliberately press his knee into the neck of a handcuffed black man until he was dead, all the while ignoring his cries for mercy. The moment I heard Floyd say, “they’re gonna kill me,” is when I realized that he knew he was going to die. I haven’t seen the entire video. But even those few minutes I watched seemed like an eternity.
I’ll never forget the moment when I realized I was watching a man being murdered. Even though I had heard the newscaster say that a white cop killed a black man in the process of an arrest, I didn’t fully realize what I’d be watching on that video. I was overwhelmed by feelings of shock and incredulity as my brain belatedly processed that I was witnessing a murder as it had happened. Of course, I knew I was watching a video of it, after the fact. But it felt like it was happening right in front of me in real time. I actually screamed, “Get off of him!!!” at the cop. Or rather, at my TV.
I waited a few days before writing this article. I wanted to make sure I said the right things. But I don’t know if I’ll say the “right” things or not. All I can do is express my feelings. I finally figured out it would be worse to say nothing.
We have to be courageous and talk about things that cause us discomfort. It’s not OK, was never OK, to just let things ride. I’ve seen way too many cases of white police killing unarmed blacks. In each case, I was shocked and saddened. But I guess for me, it took actually witnessing the replay of that murder to shake me out of my complacency.
I’m going to write people in power and tell them to stop doing partisan things that restrict our right to vote. Things like saying that mail-in voting is rigged. Organizing voting districts in ways that give an unfair advantage to whites and conservatives. I will protest the stripping away of our Constitutional rights. Our democracy has never been in more danger than it has been in the last three years. I am going to do everything I possibly can to make sure we vote in a president who honors his vow to protect the Constitution instead of working steadily to destroy it. I feel adamantly that if everyone in the U.S. was able to exercise their legal right to vote, and actually did, that we would have a very different political system than the corruption we have now. Government is supposed to be for the people. I want that to become reality.
Human beings are ALL deserving of respect, dignity, and fair treatment. My rights don’t mean a thing unless your rights are also honored. My thoughts in this article barely scratch the surface of what needs to be done to unite and heal this country. I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter as well.