The Time is Now

On Monday, May 25th, George Floyd took his last breath after a police officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeled on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. While the death of any human being brings a sense of despair, this death’s wound cut far deeper. 

It symbolized injustice — a broken legal system. It symbolized despotism — a corrupt distribution of power. It symbolized hatred— a loss of humanity.  

A nation once isolated due to the Coronavirus was reunited in a state of rage. As people went to Twitter to voice their frustration, those longing for direct change went to the streets to march for George Floyd and those before him who fell victim to police brutality.

I would be foolish to say that I, as a white person, relate to George Floyd. I would be foolish to say that I, as a white person, see a cop car and feel a sense of fear creep down my spine.

While I will never truly be able to understand the depth of the pain that victims of police brutality experience, I do feel my own sense of emotion regarding the situation. I am infuriated. I am disgusted. I am ashamed. But I am not hopeless.

Although you may feel dispirited in a time of injustice, there are things that you can do to bring change. There are things that you can do to stop the dehumanization catalyzed by race in the United States of America.

 

SPEAK UP

Keep the conversation going. Talk about the racial injustices occurring in our country. In fact, put them in the spotlight. The minute we let George Floyd’s story die is the minute that progress stops.

EDUCATE YOURSELF 

Read stories, watch movies, and listen to podcasts that discuss race. It is your job and your job only to become educated on the racial disparities in this country. Below are some resources to help guide you.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

13th by Ava Duvernay 

The Diversity Gap by Bethaney Wilkinson

BECOME COMFORTABLE BEING UNCOMFORTABLE

George Floyd’s video does not bring an easy feeling. A discussion on racial violence does not bring joy. If you are able to smoothly look past these things, you epitomize privilege. Speak up even if it’s awkward. Growth is never comfortable. 

DONATE

Donate to the George Floyd Memorial Fund created by his brother. All funds will go to the family of George Floyd for funeral and burial expenses, travel for court proceedings, counseling, and education for his children. Link below.

LISTEN

Listen to the stories of those who have firsthand dealt with police brutality. Listen to the stories of the black people in your life. Listen with the intent to understand. From listening comes empathy and with empathy comes a step closer to healing.

I don’t know when peace will come, but I do know this: we have power. Speak. Listen. March. Everyone has a part in the battle for racial equality. Our hearts have been set on fire — and the flames are just beginning.