Speak Your Mind
It’s messed up! Period. Words can’t express the emotions that have erupted within me over the senseless murder of George Floyd. These emotions are not only over his death, but many others before him. The aggregation of senseless murders of unarmed black men and women at the hands of police throughout my lifetime makes me sick to my stomach. Like, I legit want to throw up while writing this. Trayvon Martin, Sean Bell, George Floyd, and a countless number of other senseless African American deaths during my 35 years on this earth has prompted me to speak my two cents into the air. I really hope and pray that there is justice when it comes to ALL of the cops responsible for the death of George Floyd.
This has been on my chest since the 25th of May when the videos surfaced of George Floyd’s murder. The question wasn’t whether I should speak on it or not, it was more of how to speak on it? What’s the right forum for it? Would some military person be butt hurt because I decided to speak my mind on social media? Would my message be received as intended? Then my wife said, just write, you’re overthinking everything as usual. Okay, well here it goes.
“My three sons and daughter need to know when they grow up, they don’t have to fear being pulled over by a cop. They need to know that peaceful encounters with law enforcement should not turn into a death sentence!”
The frustration does not only stem from their murders. It has evolved from the nonchalant responses of many Americans.
“Why are they looting? They’re acting like animals! That’s not the way to get your point across! More white people have died at the hands of cops than black!”
Thanks bro, but nobody asked for your opinion! We saw how far peaceful protest get us [Kaepernick]. This is not a competition! Feel my pain! How do we change the systematic racism that has plagued our society for several hundred years? That doesn’t just go away. Talking it out and peaceful protest have not worked. This is where we are now! For you to turn a blind eye is asinine.
My three sons and daughter need to know when they grow up, they don’t have to fear being pulled over by a cop. They need to know that peaceful encounters with law enforcement should not turn into a death sentence!
When I was 12, growing up in NYC, the year was 1997, an electrical engineer by the name of Abner Louima was assaulted, brutalized, and sexually abused by officers of the New York City Police Department (NYPD) after he was arrested outside a Brooklyn nightclub. Two years later, an unarmed Guinean immigrant named Amadou Diallo was shot and killed by four New York City Police Department plain-clothed officers. The officers fired 41 shots, 19 of which hit Diallo. These incidents including the Rodney King beatings, all occurred in my lifetime before I turned 15. These incidents plus many others that go unmentioned left a bad vision of police officers in my head. The incidents in NY literally hit close to home. The crazy part is, before all of these police attacks on black people I wanted to be a cop.
I grew up knowing, when you encounter law enforcement, make them feel as safe as possible. “Officer, I’m going to reach into the glove box to grab my registration papers, Is that ok?” This was never verbally taught to me. Humans evolve into their environment if they want to survive. Why does my survival instinct tell me, “make them feel extremely comfortable because he or she might try to kill you?”
This is not normal! I highly doubt any white person fears for their life when they get pulled over for speeding. “Well you shouldn’t have been speeding?” Okay person in the cheap seats, join me on the field; is that a reason for me to die?
“It is disrespectful to kneel when the national anthem is playing.”
So, when should I kneel boss?
“If you would just comply you would have nothing to worry about.”
So, If I didn’t do anything wrong and an officer is abusing their power, acting outside of the law, do I just comply boss? What if I fear for my life?
“Stop looting, that’s not what right looks like!”
So, what does right look like boss. Please tell us so that we don’t deflate your ego or false sense of patriotism! Should we form a small circle and sing Kumbaya, My Lord?
I’m not blind to the fact that there is some privilege that comes with being in the military. For example, the majority of my encounters with the law, they would see me in uniform or the license plate cover that says “United States Marine Corps” on it, and they would let me off with a warning. For the majority of people with my complexion these encounters are not the same. The encounters prior to joining the military were not like this. Although there is privilege that comes with being in the military, I still fear for how a cop that is having a bad day will react the next time he pulls me over. What if I’m in my wife’s car with no military paraphernalia on it? Have you ever had to choose which car you drove based on your desire for cops to treat you with decency that day? The military card goes out the window when someone outwardly hates you!
Justice for George Floyd
I will continue to pray that there is justice when it comes to ALL of the cops responsible for the death of George Floyd. If not for George Floyd, his family, the millions of Americans protesting across the nation, then seek justice for the future of America. Do it so that our children grow up not in fear of our justice system but that they grow up with a healthy respect for it. As it stands right now, the respect for our justice system is nonexistent in the black community. Where do we go from here?
The Minnesota Freedom Fund could use some help
The Minnesota Freedom Fund pays criminal bail and immigration bond for those who cannot afford to as we seek to end discriminatory, coercive, and oppressive jailing.
Change.org Petition – Justice for George Floyd
Please sign the following petition!