Say George Floyd.
Say Breonna Taylor.
Say Ahmaud Arbery.
Say Michael Brown, Philando Castile, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Trayvon Martin.
These name are so, so far from exhaustive. Every person on here is indicative of a much deeper, systemic issue in American policing and race politics.
Take a moment and remember that these are only the cases that were publicised, usually as a result of footage being taken. Think that if this is only the number of people murdered on camera, then how much else are corrupt and racist police getting away with when nobody is watching? It is not the job of the public to hold their police force accountable.
Nobody should live in fear.
Now think about the double standard. Earlier this year, America was in the news for an entirely different set of protests. In protest of lockdown, mandatory masks and stay-at-home orders, mostly-white, right wing Americans took to the streets, bearing firearms in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. There was not a single riot shield to be seen in spite of the openly-carried semi-automatic weaponry. Trump tweeted that those were ‘very good people’ who just ‘want their lives back’. Just recently, he tweeted again about the peaceful protests going on in the name of George Floyd but this time, the sentiment was much more violent. In his own words, ‘when the looting starts, the shooting starts’.
As a white person, I cannot and will not ever be able to truly understand how terrifying it must be to live as a black person in America. I cannot fathom knowing that the people I rely on to uphold the law and keep me safe will kill me without a second thought and face no consequences unless there are literal riots in my name.
So what can I do?
This website - https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/# - has a variety of resources, information and ways that you can help.
If you can’t donate, open up this Youtube link – all of the ad revenue is being shared across various funds to help with the protests: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCgLa25fDHM (just make sure you don’t skip any adverts).
Join protests, if you can.
Share information and support.
And most importantly, listen. Black voices must be heard and if you are not black, then your only job is to elevate them, listen to them and support them.
BLACK LIVES MATTER.