Taking a stand for what is right.
Updated: Jul 15, 2020
After crying profusely from watching the graphic video of George Floyd pleading for his life as he was slowly being murdered by those sworn to protect him, isolated in my home, I wondered what I could do.
If I even should do anything about it, because it sometimes feels like weighing in on matters of racial injustice and police violence against minorities is a bit of an appropriation of their pain. A pain that I do not have to live with everyday, unlike them.
Yet, in a sense isn't that appropriation the definition of empathy, the ability to share and feel the emotions of another, isn't that what being human is all about?
Still, I felt like it was best to give ears and listen, because they were screaming in the streets to be heard, not to be spoken for. The days and nights passed and as the protests grew bigger and more heated, often in reply to violent police response, I saw the right-wing media and it's supporters try to control the narrative and put all the blame back on the black demonstrators.
Black protesters guard an isolated white police officer that was cut off from his team during the George Floyd Uprising.
There seems to be this gross and outlandish underlying opinion in these right-wing groups that black people in the US are out of control. I've seen so many detractors saying that they need to be controlled, that if left to their own accord it would be chaos. I've seen the ugly claims that slavery was in their best interest, that if the roles were reversed and they would be the majority, they would be tyrants just the same and not stand up for the minorities.
But I have to stand up and scream the loudest I possibly can that this is false, not because of speculation or good willed opinion, but because I have lived it.
I have lived this very situation, where I was the immigrant, the overwhelming minority, and when I was attacked and persecuted by a small group of bad individuals, that you would find in every culture, the black community stood up to my defense. It was in a remote area where police was nonexistent, they had no incentive or pressure other than moral convictions to do what was right. They did not wait or debate, they said no, plain and simple. Not on our watch.
When we were being thrown rocks and bottles in the street, people were there to shield us.
When they circled our house at night, I only managed to sleep because I knew my big black brothers were sleeping in the next rooms.
When my friend was attacked with a knife, his injuries were only lessened by the injuries of someone defending him.
When the police failed to act, the community shunned the attackers until some came to kneel and apologize for what they had done.
This is how a community of people stood non-violently for what is right. Because they are good people, just people, no color code needed.
Now this didn't take place in the US, so the first thing people will argue is that they are not the same people. Yet the country of Dominica is populated at 95% of the descendants of African slaves, the same DNA that courses in the veins of African-Americans. Dominicans have had to fight for their independence from British colonialism, same as Americans.
The only real difference between the black people of these two nations is that one of them has been under the strangulating grip of oppression at the hands of a racist ruling class even after it's independence.
But that grip on the people is loosening, partly thanks to our ever increasing ability to connect with one another, the power of global communication, the power to learn and understand the views of others, as well as share our own. We learn to care for others.
A group of white women stand arm-locked in front of the police line, shielding the protesters during the George Floyd Uprising.
But as we all know, with great power comes great responsibility, because remaining silent is not an option in a globalized world where a device in your pocket can allow your voice to resonate through the ears of a billion souls.
There are no races, there are no borders, all humans share red blood, and no one want theirs spilled.
Speak up for what is right, denounce what is wrong, cry and scream if you need to, invest not only your thoughts, but also your actions, in making the changes you want to see. Do it for you as much as for others.
One blood, one love.