It happened again.
This past Monday evening in Minneapolis, George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man died due to false accusations of using a counterfeit bill. The shopkeeper called the police and surveillance videotapes to show a calm Mr. Floyd being led out in handcuffs. Minutes later, a video recorded from a cellphone shows a white police officer kneeling on Mr. Floyd's neck, making him unable to breathe. In the video, you can hear him repeatedly say, "I can't breathe. I'm about to die." When the police officer finally removed his knee, it was too late. George Floyd had died.
Two days after Mr. Floyd's death, protests broke out in Minneapolis, Memphis, and Los Angeles to fight against the death of black people in the hands of racist cops. Unfortunately, what started out as a peaceful protest became violent as the police fought peace with tear gas. The city of Minneapolis burned to the ground, as protestors were left no choice but to fight violence with violence as peace was no longer an option. Their voices were not heard when they peacefully protested, protesting with violence is the only way to bring government attention to issues people have been talking about for decades.
Speaking up, raising awareness, signing petitions, and donating are the only ways those from home can help shed light on police brutality against black people, to me, it's honestly considered the bare minimum. And yet, some people choose to stay silent. To not speak up. To not use their privilege to bring awareness to the unnecessary violence police use towards black communities. Staying silent is helping the oppressor; sure, you're not racist and maybe the death of George Floyd upset you, so why aren't you doing anything about it? Why are you silently sitting back and watching countless people risk their lives to fight for black lives?
Staying "neutral" is harming black people, you're on the side of the murderer.
"But, politics just isn't my thing.", that is your privilege talking. You're harming those who are fighting for their right to live. Use your privilege and raise awareness. Use your privilege to protect men and women like George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Atatiana Koquice Jefferson, Megan Marie Hockaday, Amadou Diallo; to protect children like Tamir Rice, Tatayana Hargrove, and Aiyana Mo'nay Stanley-Jones. These are just a few names of the countless lives taken.
After two days of protests, the four cops who were on the scene of Mr.Floyd's death are still walking free, yes they were fired from their jobs, but why aren't they behind bars? They killed an innocent man, but they are not in handcuffs. This is why we need to speak up. This is why we need to bring awareness. We need to fight for those who no longer can.