Imagine this scenario: You walk into a meeting for the United States government. You feel the eyes of everyone on you. Those piercing eyes are on you not because of how you look or what you are wearing, but simply because of your skin color.
White people can live with the privilege that their skin is not a threat to society. African Americans get reminded every day that they are black, and anyone different from them can view them as a threat.
Daily, African Americans’ rights to be comfortable in the skin we were born in and freely express ourselves get violated. However, we have to protest peacefully because the law already sees us as a threat.
As a young black female, I do not support violence.
George Floyd, his community’s “gentle giant,” (ABC News) was a fiance, brother, and father, but that doesn’t matter because the color of his skin is what got him murdered. It was not who he was, but what he was.
He was not a threat to the former officer, Derek Chauvin. Instead, Chauvin was a threat to him, and somehow Chauvin and other officers who feel “threatened” by melanin are apparently in the right because they are white. The only reason this issue is finally getting the attention it needs is that other races are starting to speak against it and seeking change for black lives. Otherwise, those men would be walking freely unashamed.
Martin Luther King Jr., one of the most influential leaders this country has seen because of his work for the civil rights movement, was a peaceful protester who did not resort to violence or looting. In his “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” King acknowledges change will be slow without violence, but change will be forced when we should want it to be true so that it lasts. (Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D. African Studies at the University of Penn)
Even though there were six days of rioting after James Earl Ray murdered King, it was a catalyst to the Civil Rights Act getting passed. However, just because the act passed does not mean racism, ignorance, and privilege were solved. The act passed as part of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution because society could not handle the riots.
With rioting being a form of protest, when it comes to the lives of our brothers and sisters, we have to be smart and willing to protest in a peaceful way that keeps all protesters safe. We should not attack black-owned businesses or small businesses that may not be able to recover.
The government tends to ignore those who are peaceful, so rioting, so the black community can be heard, makes sense to some people.
Staying peaceful is a way to be distinctive from the fakes who want to make the black community look bad. For example, at some riots, white men and women are wearing all black and covering their faces while destroying property to seem like it is the Black Lives Matter movement doing it. (Joseph Alvarez FaceBook)
You know people’s true selves at peaceful protests because whoever is still resentful, in this situation, is wrong. If the protests were only looting and violence, everyone would be angry. It’s important to know where people’s hearts are since the hearts of innocent blacks are not even considered before they stop beating. For example, if the cops knew George Floyd’s heart, would they still care for his skin?
This is bigger than us. So we have to remain mindful of other people’s safety. It is easy to risk our lives for our personal issues. But this is a whole community, and if we complain about President Trump using his platform for his advantage, how are we different? A hypocrite protesting is no protest at all. You can argue you are thinking of the community, but if you are, you have to think of the future and not let your present actions reflect how you feel.
Yes, there is a rage in us that’s been going on for far too long, but we don’t want to get there knowing the anger of our rage is what got us justice. I understand that is how some are grieving, and I am not going to get in the way, but others are being greedy and directly violating laws just to do it.
The shop of a black woman got ruined; why were they going for a fellow sister if black lives matter? We cannot be hypocrites saying we want safety for black people if we are not willing to be safe for our black community. Resorting to violence is not the way because it’s violence that got us into this situation. How can we, the black community who want to feel safe in our skin, get that by relying on what got us into this situation? This is not justice for George anymore because his siblings are saying how this is not how he would want it done. Let’s listen to how he would. Let’s listen to Dr. King, “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.”
History has shown that change has never come peacefully, but the things that are still controversial most likely came with violence; and since it never came about in the right way, in peace and change of heart, it didn’t change ways.Find More Stories