[Skip to the end for resources on BLM]
When I was 16, my friend was shot and killed by a police officer. Four years later, the world watched as George Floyd was murdered in what was, essentially, a modern lynching.
It’s disgusting that we live in a world where someone can be murdered on camera and there’s the possibility that they can get away with it because they are wearing a uniform.
I can name four other instances of blatant racism off the top of my head that occurred before the 25th of May:
- A woman accused two black men of kidnapping and murdering her son when she herself drowned him by pushing him into a creek.
- A youth pastor claimed that two black men kidnapped him because he didn’t want to admit that he was in the hotel room to meet a sex worker.
- After a black man asked a white woman in Central Park to put her dog on a leash, she proceeded to call the police and say that he was threatening her.
- On March 13th Breonna Taylor was shot at least eight times by the police in her own home.
These are only the examples that I can recall at the moment and they do not even scratch the surface of the struggles faced by the black community.
Racism and police brutality have been long-standing problems, it is only now that it is gaining more visibility. As America is exploding into protests, it is now more important than ever to speak up. Racism, in all its forms, is not constrained to the United States. It is just as present in Europe.
Perhaps BPOC aren’t being shot in the streets, but the amount of casual and interpersonal racism that is enacted and voiced without consequence is appalling. From blackface during Sinterklaas in the Netherlands to the popularity of the AfD in Germany.
We white people must do better. After hundreds of years of oppression, BPOC are rightfully angry and the best thing we can do at the moment is to be an ally and create a space in which black voices can be heard.
It is not enough to not be racist. It is also a bold claim to ‘not be racist’ because we aren’t the ones that get to decide when something we say or do is considered racist. Microaggressions and other types of discrimination can be unintentional, but the fact that they’re unintentional doesn’t mean that it’s not discrimination.
We are profiting off a system that continuously gives us an advantage because of the color of our skin. Add authority to the disadvantage that POC already have and the end result can be deadly. Has been deadly. Over and over and over again.
It’s wrong and disgusting. Things must change and they need to change now. From the dumpster fire that is (the American) justice system to other forms of institutionalized racism.
Educational institutions are not left untarnished.
We must do better, because
Black Lives Matter.
[Resources to contribute to BLM]
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EDUCATE YOURSELF – BE INFORMED. BE AN ALLY. READ THIS.
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Breonna Taylor – https://www.nytimes.com/article/breonna-taylor-police.html