My heart has been heavy with the current state of our nation. I'm far from an expert on social issues or anything related and don’t have all of the answers.
But as a black man, I felt the need to post a response to the death of George Floyd. Most importantly, racial equity has everything to do with personal finance and that should be understood.
It has been 400 years in the making of a system that was set up to hold power and keep certain groups of people limited on what they could do.
How do we get out of this place and move forward to a better place? How do we undo 400 years of racism?
These are the questions I have, and I'm sure many others as well.
George Floyd protests
Tragically, we have reached the place where we are right now. There is still a pandemic going on but the need for action is so great we have people of all races out protesting and not social distancing due to the social injustice.
Even during a pandemic, it doesn’t stop the police, certain white supremacists, and vigilantes from killing. We have to keep pushing forward to extract from America the final proof of the promise that it gave to us as citizens of this nation.
Ultimately, we need a revolution of values. There is a need to expose the virus of hatred for a vaccine of love and reconciliation to occur.
The disturbing part of this is that it takes rioting and looting for us to be heard and for America to understand how hard it is to be black in America.
We have white rioting going on in the white house and in many businesses as we speak.
There is a need to have a movement of change in all areas. Certainly, the amount of support and attention being brought to this issue is much-needed.
George Floyd: My thoughts
As a black man, I have had many experiences where I was racially profiled. For example, being pulled over for “DWB.” Which means, Driving While Black. And I quote the police officer exactly the way he explained it to me when I asked why I was being stopped.
It’s normal for a black person to immediately feel nervous when being stopped by a police officer, even if they have done nothing wrong. The unknown of how the situation can end is what brings fear to our minds and causes our hearts to start beating fast.
This shouldn't be a normal feeling and nobody should have to experience this while simply commuting to their destination.
However, of course, there are many crimes that happen every day. But right now we are talking about situations where it was completely out of line for no apparent reason.
I'm not for rioting or looting but I also cannot let the government off the hook for the issues that are carried out against the very people who they say are citizens of this nation like everyone else.
As Martin Luther King Jr. stated, “A riot is the language of the unheard.” So, the question and focus should be what’s not being heard and who’s not being heard. And also, who is silencing those from being heard. Ultimately, that’s the real riot.
Too often we look at the effect but not the cause. In April 1963 Martin Luther King Jr. stated, “I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and that when they fail in this purpose, they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress.”
The future of this nation
I have absolutely amazing white friends. And I am thankful for having those relationships because it brings a different perspective to my eyes. That is to say, not all white people are racists and certainly, not all black people are thugs.
The police are there to protect our communities and it’s obvious they are coloring outside the lines at this point. The criminal justice system is set up for the police to do their job of arresting the offenders and that's it. However, too many times we have police officers doing more than they are hired to do.
Police officers aren't the judge or jury but have started to take too much control of situations where they shouldn’t. At the end of the day, it’s unjust for them to take a life unnecessarily.
George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, and the list goes on, should all be still living today. There are a number of cases where a black person was killed like an animal.
Unless this nation addresses the deeply entrenched racial bias and racial inequality that prevails, we will be having this conversation again. As deeply painful the reality is, we still haven’t learned how to embrace, recognize, and love each other as fellow Americans.
Historically speaking, black people learned to riot by having to defend themselves. It’s ingrained in our minds to try and survive and keep our hope. Even if we weren’t the ones who endured slavery, we fully understand what our ancestors went through.
Final words - George Floyd
In conclusion, we have to continue to speak out and chip away at the reality and face history. Racism cannot be ignored. We have to commit ourselves as Americans to fight the bigotry and not let the murder of George Floyd or any other black person be allowed.
The coming together of all races is a step in the right direction. If America doesn’t listen, it will only get worse. My hope is that we all see other people as we are, human beings.
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