I have been keeping my big mouth mostly shut the last couple of days. I know people are tired of hearing about this, and I don’t know that I can say anything that hasn’t been said.
Setting a good example has always been a motivating factor for me. Today I see my baby sister and some of my former students adding their voices to the discussion. They remind me that while my words may add nothing, my voice is important.
If you’re tired of hearing about George Floyd, maybe you should have spoken up in 2012, when Rekia Boyd was killed by an off duty police officer who saw her walking down a street with her friends. He told them to be quiet, and he fired when he THOUGHT he saw a gun. Prosecutors charged him with involuntary manslaughter. A judge acquitted him in April 2016, saying he’d been improperly charged.
If you’re tired of hearing about George Floyd, maybe you should have spoken up in 2014, when Eric Garner died after a white officer placed him in a chokehold during an arrest for selling loose cigarettes. A grand jury declined to indict that officer, nor any others involved in the arrest.
If you’re tired of hearing about George Floyd, maybe you should have spoken up in 2016, when Philando Castile was shot and killed while reaching for the ID the officer repeatedly demanded. The officer was charged, but nothing stuck.
These are only a few of the high profile cases. With each incident, I have heard white people getting angry about the outcry. “Not all police!”
Not one person believes that all police are bad. Full Stop.
“Just because he was black doesn’t mean it was racism!”
But you can’t say for certain, and since you are white, you‘ll never have to worry that it could be you or your child, next.
So when I see/hear people who have never said a word in solidarity with our Black Brothers and Sisters, suddenly moved to show their outrage over property damage and theft committed by opportunistic jackasses exploiting a tragedy, it makes me literally ache with sadness and frustration.
The wonderful young man who mows our lawn without being asked is black. He is what I would hope a child I raised would be. Every time something like this happens, I think, “that could have been Trey.”
If you’re tired of hearing about George Floyd do something to stop another unarmed black person from being killed by the police, even if all you can do is add your voice.