Am I gaining a white ally or someone riding the wave? No matter social media, television, or just work, racism seems to be the new “hot topic”. You see, George Floyd, was not the first and, call me a pessimist if you will, he will not be the last to die because of racism. George Floyd was the final straw. And I’m not sure who viewed it as the final straw, people of color or white America, but streets around the world have filled with protesters of all races and nationalities against racial injustice.
Let’s be real, the Black Lives Matter movement did not start with the tragic death of George Floyd. No. No. It was a little boy by the name of Trayvon Martin and the acquittal of his murderer that triggered the BLM movement. His murderer wasn’t even a cop. You see, that did not upset white America enough for black lives to matter. But hey, there was no video, it went to the courts, and the jury did not see the murderer as guilty. I’ll give a pass…I guess.
Ok, so now you have to see it to believe it. Is that really true? I won’t go through all the videos of the black men/boys I’ve watched die, because I will say George Floyd was the first I watched in it’s entirety because I didn’t know who or really what I was watching. My point, there have been countless videos, some just surfacing now of innocent men and women of color being brutalized by police, and for some odd reason, their black lives didn’t matter enough to white America.
Why watching little 12 year-old Tamir Rice being shot caused no outrage for white America, I don’t know. What I do know, which brings me to my next point, that caller should have talked to the 12 year-old boy and not 911. Because that is what also made it the final straw for me, I won’t speak for black America. I saw the George Floyd video within days of seeing the racist white chick, terrorize the law-abiding Harvard bird watcher, as she choked the hell out of her dog. Mind you, I watched these two videos weeks after choosing not to watch the video of Ahmaud Arbery. Oh yeah, let me not forget about consistently reading about Breonna Taylor. Yeah. Somehow racist 911 calls, vigilantes gunning down joggers, and a hard working essential employee trying to get a good night’s sleep, wasn’t enough for white America to care about black lives.
So now white America is upset about racism. Now white America wants to take a knee. When Black Lives Matter protested seven years ago, they were thugs running the street. When Colin Kaepernick wanted to take a knee to protest peacefully, white America lost their minds and burned all their Nike gear and fired the black man. And the white silence surrounding outrageous racist 911 reports jeopardizing black lives has been deafening.
Is this allyship or is this a fad? I welcome the allyship because this battle cannot be won without unity. I welcome the collaborations to move race relations in America forward. But understand, for black America, this is not a fad. For black people, we are enduring a pandemic, social distancing, and still watching our fellow brothers and sisters murdered at the hands of systematic racism in America. Not only are we not allowed to jog in the “wrong” neighborhood, we are not allowed to go to sleep at night or birdwatch in public places. We may not even be able to write about how we are feeling right now without retaliation.
So if you’re truly “woke”, “down for the cause”, or trying to comprehend what your fellow black American is going through, make sure your passion is genuine, because as long as we are black and racists exist, this fight will never be a fad for black America.