Resources to make a change:
-Contact Minneapolis District Attorney, Michael Freeman, to demand justice for George Floyd: 612-348-5550, firstname.lastname@example.org, or their website.
-Text 'Floyd' to 55156 to sign the change.org petition
-Call Mayor Jacob Frey 612-673-2100. Say "I want justice for the murder of George Floyd. I demand the prosecution of ALL the officers involved including Thomas Lane, Tou Thao, and J. Alexander Kueng. This is a racist hate crime and an abuse of power."
- George Floyd Memorial GoFundMe
- Sign the petition for #JusticeForFloyd
- Donate to Minnesota Freedom Fund (direct bail for protestors)
- Sign petition that demands mandatory body cameras for police
-READ: Anti-Racism Resources
As a black woman in America I’m once again traumatized by the murders of black people at the hands of white supremacists and the people sworn to protect us. My words & tears are old news. I’m exhausted and wound up.. we need ALL our people of every race to face & fight the systemic, institutionalized racism & crimes against humanity.
The current murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor & Ahmaud Arbery, as well as the false accusation of Christian Cooper by Amy Cooper tell us everything we need to know about racism in this country right now... it’s horrific and blatant - it’s not new or worse than before, it’s just being recorded.
It’s time to wake up - time for enlightenment over denial. These deaths must not be in vain. Please we must NOT let these deaths be in vain.
For my non-black folks - do the work, look deeply at yourself, your history, your role, your thoughts and actions or lack of. Ask the questions, get uncomfortable, face the facts, open your minds & hearts, understand the true meaning of white privilege, call people out, call yourself out, be brave, spread the message, stand up, get involved, be heard.
We must Rise Up... all people, and especially our white people because right now we need YOU to BE the CHANGE.
This is not easy for me to write. I'm caught between wondering who the fuck I think I am to be commenting on this, and the absolute need and responsibility to comment. This may fall on deaf ears, or maybe I'm simply preaching to the choir. My hope, however, is that this will reach a few people who need to hear it, and have a positive impact.
We live in a racist society. While I think that's clear, those who don't see it or feel it on a regular basis will always have trouble understanding the truth of this. Many of us who are white have the luxury of not experiencing what it's really like out there for people of color. We're participants–even if we don't realize it–in furthering racist policies and behaviors.
The murder of George Floyd by people meant to protect us highlights just how entrenched racism is in our society. The Minneapolis police did not see George Floyd as a person equal to others, as someone with the right to be treated with respect. The officer was casually kneeling on his neck as if his life meant nothing. We can only conclude he must have thought to himself, "If this guy dies, then he dies." Mr. Floyd was begging for his life, and the bystanders could clearly see that he was in distress. The store owner called the police on the police because he and his staff could see how dangerous the situation was. What other conclusion can we come to when the officers in question were fired on the spot, which is essentially an admission of complete wrongdoing? Normally, officers involved in an incident like this would be placed on administrative leave until an investigation was completed. Were they fired in hopes that people would be satisfied and forget it ever happened?
To make things worse, this comes right on the heels of the racist murder of Ahmaud Arbery. He wandered into a construction site, and for this, he was pursued, confronted, and killed. In his case, it wasn't even by police officers, but armed civilians; armed civilians who were not arrested for murder until many days afterward, and then only because the shocking video of the incident went viral. To the responding officers that day, a young black man was killed, and it was almost OK.
When I was a young man, I spent quite a bit of time wandering into and around construction sites. They were like playgrounds for my friends and I. Roads, houses, and communities were being built. We used to ride our bikes on the dirt mounds, and hang out in unfinished structures. We even stole wood to build ramps. Here's the point: unlike Ahmaud Arbery, we actually broke the law. We would carry stolen wood through neighborhoods where everyone could see us. There was no way not to see a bunch of kids laughing and lugging pieces of plywood down the middle of the street. But no one called the police. I imagine people looking out their windows and saying, "Boys will be boys," and laughing it off.
We white folks who recognize our privilege talk about being lucky. But why should it be lucky? It should be normal, and it should be normal for EVERYONE. For too long, we've thought, "Well, I have friends who are people of color, I have co-workers whom I love who are people of color, I have a wife or husband who is a person of color. I can't be racist." Until we admit that racism is in all of us–not necessarily because we are all bad people, or have hatred in our hearts, but because we are products of a system that has racism built into it–we cannot make progress. How can you fix a problem you haven't admitted exists in the first place?
I've heard from friends that feel confused and conflicted about what to do or say. They feel like the privilege they have in this country excludes them from commenting on these events. I understand that feeling, the privilege of not being directly impacted. But the very thought that this feeling means we have no place in the conversation cements the idea that we live in two different societies. The very thought keeps us divided. We need to speak up, and speak to each other, and disagree, and fight ,and even embarrass ourselves in pursuit of the truth, in pursuit of bettering ourselves as a society, in pursuit of actually delivering on the American dream of equality for all. Until now, this kind of equality is not even close to the reality. It doesn't amount to much more than a PR campaign for the idea of America.
Look deep inside. If you do not feel outrage, or if you feel indifferent or distant from the mistreatment of your fellow citizens of color, then you're part of the problem. I hate to tell you, but it means you don't see people of color as equal. Because if what happened to George Floyd happened to a white man, you'd be fucking outraged.