What will it take for Black bodies to matter? When will our outcries ever be taken seriously?
I see protesters, peaceful and violent, get shot with rubber bullets, lose their eyes and suffer severe injuries. Why is it that when we stand up for the injustices of the Black community, we are called “thugs?”
Our nation is in turmoil right now, and I only hope this will be a wake-up-call for Americans to finally realize that we need change. We must vote to create a difference — not only for our president, but also for our local and state officials, as these are the leaders who will ultimately determine who is guilty and who is not in cases such as George Floyd’s murder.
The disconnect between white Americans and Black issues is culturally rooted over a deep and painful history, starting when our bodies were first used for labor. Existing as a person of color in the U.S. has since always been a struggle. We are commonly praised as “the land of the free and the home of the brave,” but free for who exactly? What about our country’s racism is so courageous? My Black ancestors would beg to differ, because up until 1965 we weren’t seen as humans. It wasn’t until the Civil Rights Movement only 56 years ago when Black people began to earn a small taste of true freedom.
It is heartbreaking to witness my grandparents go through such times of prejudice once again and to hear people say, “most cops aren’t like this” and “incidents like these are rare.” Nazi Germany was “rare,” yet we still seem to understand the horrific nature behind it. Just because hate and brutality may appear to be a thing of the past doesn’t mean lives are no longer lost today.
I remember being 13 when Travyon Martin was killed; now I’m 21 and hearing the same story with Floyd. It is apparent that our population is only a means to an end, but I want to believe, as a Black woman living in the 21st century, that a better future awaits us.
Prejudice against skin color should not be tolerated at any level. Black lives matter, and I’ll keeping repeating this until we are viewed and respected as more than just Black bodies.
words_jabria roscoe, design_abby pak