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Dear America: We Are TIRED

By June 15, 2020 June 16th, 2020 No Comments

This video put a tear in my eye. As the young lady walks through the park, a cop stops her and out of pure reaction, she immediately puts her hands up in the air. Is our world really still at the point where our youth has to fear for their lives when those who “serve & protect” interact with them? 

I’ve had far too many conversations over the years with people about the fear of being black, but at this point: I’m tired. 

WE ARE TIRED.  

When my Dad was young, his dad sat him down and taught him about Emmit Till. As a youth my Dad sat me down and begrudgingly taught me about the story of Rodney King — and it sticks with me even today.

Now I understand why he told it to me. He just wanted me to know what the possibilities were of being on the wrong side of being Black in America. And now I am teaching my kids about how to make sense of the George Floyd situation and all the other moments of injustice we’ve seen this year alone.

We’re in 2020 now, and we’re still seeing the same forms of senseless murder happening all around us.

It’s almost as if we’re living in the twilight zone — almost nothing has changed from then until now when it comes to the devaluation of the black life. The mechanisms & constructs may be different, but unfortunately the point remains the same: we are still being killed because of the color of our skin.

When I was in the seventh grade, a cop shot one of my classmates. It was around the same time as Rodney King, and although that story was on the national news, they killed LT Sanders in Glassboro, NJ and we faced a very similar tragedy in my hometown. 

My oldest is 11, and she is well aware of Trayvon Martin. My younger two now know of the George Floyd story. It’s crazy we are still having a conversation about Black lives matter. 

Not equal.

Not incredible.

Not phenomenal

We still have to remind the world that we even MATTER…

The time is upon us to once and for all to make a change. It’s time to reinvest in ourselves & in our neighborhoods, to mobilize & strategize, to partner & unite and make a lasting change on the system and our world.

When my kids are older I don’t want them to live in a world where we do not have same rights as any other human being. A world where they live in fear of police — the same people whom they expect us to call upon in times of hardship and emergency.

I’m certain that while 90% mean well, that 10% of “bad” cops that put a fear in our kids’ hearts and make them put the hands up just like this young lady — we have to stop this madness before it is too late.


For white people reading this: the next time your black friend tells you about the time he/she got pulled over by a cop and felt racially profiled, or even scared for his/her life: just listen. Try to emphasize.

Don’t compare. Don’t judge. Just listen.

Because as a white man or woman, you will never have to be Black in America.

You will never be profiled based on the color of your skin alone. 

You will never know what our heartbeat feels like when we are pulled over (more often than not for nothing). 

You will never have a George Floyd moment.

You will never have an Ahmoud Arbery moment. 

You will never have an Amadou Diallo moment. 

You will never have a Sean Reed moment. 

You will never have a Breonna Taylor moment. 

You will never come close. You cannot empathize because you can never know our experience. And I don’t believe you would ever want to walk a mile in those shoes.

So just listen. Sympathize, and mobilize. 

Do your part to help us change this corrupt system wherever you can. 

Because America: WE ARE TIRED.

 

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