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Initially, I thought George Floyd died like a b*tch.
This article consists of my own thoughts, and is independent of my connection to this website. I’m emotionally desensitized and disconnected, so if you’re easily triggered I suggest you stop reading now.
I watched the video of three white officers kneeling on a black man, suffocating him to death while a fourth kept watch. I saw it. I understood what was happening, the worldwide global responses (positive and negative), and even the memes and songs that rose from the ashes as the city burned; but I just couldn’t find my compassion.
In a world where you live seeing racial injustice, poverty, crime and corruption, why would you not be ready to fight for your life? I could not understand why a 40-odd year old black man decided to beg with his oppressors. Fam, they do not care and will not care if you “can’t breathe”. I personally would have struggled, writhed, wriggled, whined, and shoved until they finally shot me (as all these trigger-happy “men” are so eager to do). It just seemed like George accepted his suffocation, albeit painfully so. I watched, watched, watched again and could simply see it no other way. Feel free to enlighten my darkness.
I then observed the responses online. What companies were doing, who was shooting, looting, breaking, stealing, cussing and feeling. For the American populace, I could understand. Whether or not George called it on himself (and I’m not saying he did) the case could’ve been differently very handled. History shows that other races are eager to kill the black man. In the Jamaican populace, however, I couldn’t help but find amusement. Suddenly, we all became activists. We do this all the time, for other countries, for other struggles, but we love to make light of our own situations. Susan Bogle’s death is simply unimportant to most. In all honesty, I think the only people who really care are the official state bodies like Jamaicans For Justice that (by definition of their duties) should and the people of August Town who live in the war-torn, heavily stigmatized community. To everyone else, it’s just news. Especially knowing that it was a black woman, who was disabled and didn’t have quite enough hair on her head to distinguish her features. A comment in the Jamaica Gleaner goes: “At August Town, when dem kill up here, dem hype. Now dem kill a innocent, disabled woman, and dem body language can tell dem wrong,” a male resident, who requested anonymity, said. “None a dem nah shout and carry on. Everybody inna circle a talk. We know something wrong from we a ask who dead and dem nah tell we.”
This is how normalized we are with killing.
Readers, it feels like hypocrisy for me to write articles every day and not address this sore, this open wound. But my perspective is not quite like other angles you may have come across. We suffer so much injustice at the hands of each other. We fat-shame, we bash gays, we laugh at emotional and mental disabilities, we endorse corruption. Our moral compass is selective. I find it hard to believe that many of us really feel anything for George Floyd because we don’t appear to feel in general, for anyone or anything else but ourselves unless it’s in fashion to show said care. For those who do so care, why do you think that these modern-day systems were intrinsically built for your benefit? Whether or not you want to return to Africa, or “bun Babylon”, these societal structures enable the things you hate and or not going to die anytime soon. Read this entire page compilation on “Racism”, factor in other associated family members like “classism”, “homophobia”, “The Holocaust”, “Christopher Columbus”, “religious persecution”, etc. We are all guilty. I am not saying we must make light of the situations at hand, but for me shouting “Black Lives Matter” and wearing black for peaceful protests isn’t it. We have to hit those in power where it hurts, even when it inconveniences us; boycott the economy our oppressors thrive from; educate those in our own communities who genuinely don’t understand; stand up for ALL AFFECTED PEOPLES. Not just the ones we care about.
Life (physically and spiritually) is war. I salute all who have fallen, in the most reverence – Blacks, Chinese, Indians, Aboriginals, even some Whites. Try to go in peace. But if you ever have someone happily kneeling on your neck and think that begging with them will work, or think that being poor and disenfranchised doesn’t make you a target for privileged society, you’ve missed the point and that’s what will kill you.
Blessings and Protection.