Remember when LeBron James reincarnated Christ and dunked over Jason Terry? What about Denzel Washington’s captivating performance in “Man On Fire” or Michael Jackson’s majestic dance moves? We all love their performance art, but have we thought about the fact that these are simply human beings? As highly regarded as their social status is, they and their families could be assassinated, just for buying a loaf of bread at the local grocery store.
Is this a bit of stretch? Yes and no.
If an unknown 6-foot-8 African-American male with a receding hairline, goliath build, and bushel of beard was walking down a sidewalk, many people would probably feel intimidated. This is neither right nor wrong, but being able to recognize our own implicit biases is a first-line defense at limiting racism in our country.
The protests going on around the globe are absolutely beautiful. The varying colors, united passion, and colossal number of people is proving unprecedented. We are all living a history lesson, and hopefully freedom, equality, and love are the resulting outcomes.
It’s easy to write an article, attend a rally, or donate a wad of cash to bolster equality efforts. But for real change to take place, consistent action is needed on a multitude of levels. And while some may feel that the protests are unnecessary, it’s important to recognize that we all want to be free, and many people in our society feel bound, confined, and suppressed every time they step out in public, and sometimes within the sacred walls of their own home. And overwhelming statistics support their concerns.
It’s a word that’s thrown out so casually it’s become almost synonymous with the popular phrase from our Declaration of Independence, that we all have the unalienable right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
From a statistical standpoint, these privileges do not apply to the African-American community.
It’s simple to overlook from an outside lens, even though it’s understood what’s going on. It’s not our cousin who was murdered on the street, our grandma who was enslaved, raped, and tortured, or are son, who’s locked in an animal kennel and Tropicana orange jumpsuit for thirty years.
If it was, this systemic racism would’ve probably been eradicated a long time ago. This movement is not about politics—it’s about basic human decency.
And that’s the thing here; we’re all the fricking same. Whatever religion, color, sexuality, or any other difference doesn’t matter; we’re all created by the same energy. Police officers and African-Americans included.
However, back on planet earth, it’s important to understand that one group holds power over the other and abuses can take place as a direct result of this correlation.
George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, Emmett Till, Martin Luther King Jr., and Trayvon Martin were no statistics—they were real human beings, and their families still feel their loss until this day.
There’s a reason that people are marching all over the world, and regardless of what the news media portrays, the majority of protestors are out there to spread peace, love, hope, and protect the freedoms of a minority group who never had freedoms to begin with.
We cheer for African-Americans in sports, music, and entertainment, but now it’s time we support them in real life.
“Our Lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” – Martin Luther King Jr.