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My Personal Thoughts on the Murder of George Floyd, Black Lives Matter, and Racism in America

I have so many thoughts running through my mind right now so I almost don’t even know where to begin. For me, writing (or typing*) all of my thoughts and feelings will feel extremely therapeutic. I hope my personal opinions do not offend anyone and I am ready to challenge myself more than ever in understanding more about the ongoing race war and systematic oppression in America.

It’s hard to illustrate my initial reaction after hearing about the senseless and sickening murder of George Floyd. I know this sounds horrible but at first, my reaction was “damn… another black man murdered by a police officer… this isn’t anything new.” Please understand, the horrific news disgusted me but at the same time, I also felt numb because we hear these sad stories time and time again. This was not an isolated occurrence. And once I saw the picture of {former} Officer Derek Chauvin digging his knees into the neck and back of George Floyd, I felt so sick to my stomach. This poor man was murdered in front of an audience and his killer showed ZERO remorse. George Floyd had his life taken from him… he even cried out for his mom. It breaks my heart so much.

There are white serial killers who are peacefully and gently handcuffed and taken away and here you have a man who wanted to buy a sandwich with a counterfeit $20 bill and his life ends. It is unfathomable to me!

My heart and prayers go out to George Floyd in heaven and his family here on Earth. I’m sad that his life was taken away by a power-hungry, white supremacist scumbag cop. Only God can decide when our time on Earth is up. RIP George Floyd and may your soul and memory live on amongst all of us. Your death will not be in vain.

In regards to the Black Lives Matter movement, I have to admit that I didn’t exactly understand what it was all about when it first started after the death of Trayvon Martin. I would hear and see the BLM slogan everywhere but didn’t take the time to actually educate myself and fully understand the meaning and purpose behind this impactful message. I was one of those people who thought “umm All Lives Matter!!!” Now, I feel very ignorant saying and thinking that. Of course All Lives Matter. BUT it is the Black Lives that need to be recognized more than ever. All Lives do not matter until Black Lives Matter.

“No one has ever claimed that all lives do not matter. But it is black lives that are the ones in lethal danger because of dangerous stereotypes.” – The Weekly Challenger

In regards to the protests and riots currently taking place, I’m saddened to see mom & pop businesses and neighborhoods being destroyed by the looters. Sure, break into corporate chains like Target- who cares. That doesn’t bother me as much. But vandalizing businesses such as the local coffee shops that support the LGBT and POC community seems counterintuitive to me. I’ve been watching countless news outlets and reading as much as I can, and George Floyd’s brother, Terrence Floyd, condemned the looting and violent rioting and reminded people that the destruction is not what his brother would have wanted. To me, respecting the Floyd family’s wish to relax with all of the violent riots should be our priority. No one is saying stop the protests… it’s just being requested to make them more peaceful. At the same time, there are so many peaceful and effective protests happening; however, it is the opportunists who are taking advantage of the situation by looting. Someone is going to have to clean up the mess when this ends. Let’s not forget that. (Maybe we should all volunteer to help clean up.)

And let me clarify that I know they are just buildings which can be rebuilt and repaired, and that a community is made up of the people in it, but the violence and destruction will not get us anywhere. Did we not learn anything from the Rodney King / L.A. riots in 1992 where 63 people died, 2,383 injured, 12,000 arrested along with $1 billion worth of property damage??

Although I’m no celebrity with a huge platform for everyone to see or even care about my personal thoughts, it makes me feel better to put it out into the universe. In a way, my blog is my diary and I’m willing to share my diary with all of you! I have vowed to myself to educate myself more about the things that I want and need to know more of- particularly the Black Lives Matter movement and how to be ANTI-racist. There is a huge difference in not being racist and being anti-racist.

ANTI-racist: One who is supporting an antiracist policy through their actions or expressing an antiracist idea.

I think some of us (caucasians) who are not racist (but not actively trying to be anti-racist) sometimes forget how much racism is still amongst us to this current day. I don’t know what it feels like to walk out the door and notice that people are looking at me differently because the color of my skin. I don’t know what it’s like to wonder if me, my parents, my brother or sister, or my child will be treated unfairly by the police. I don’t know what it’s like to know that for hundreds of years, my race has been treated differently. It’s our duty to educate ourselves more on this matter and figure out ways to help make a change. Racism has been going on for too long and it’s not just geared towards the black community. We need it to stop everywhere! Let’s work together to do so. I’m starting by reading How To Be An AntiRacist by Ibram X. Kendi and signing the petition/donating to Justice for George Floyd.

Moreover, we need law and order. We need police. Do I think that police should adopt new training procedures so they can handle certain situations differently? Yes. But at the same time, I’m not a police officer and I don’t know what it’s like to be in a situation where I feel as if my life is in danger. I’m not talking about when a police officer arrests someone for the smallest crime (such as paying for something with counterfeit money) but I’m talking about being in a situation where guns are being used and one has to think and act quickly. I remember being a kid and viewing police officers as cool but very intimidating at the same time… kind of like Batman. I would hate for us to start viewing these people whose duty it is to protect & serve as pieces of s*** although I know a lot of people already do. Some police officers are indeed scumbags. But a lot aren’t. There are good and bad of every profession. There are good and bad doctors. Good and bad lawyers. Good and bad teachers. Good and bad coaches. Good and bad financial advisors. Good and bad politicians. Good and bad EVERYTHING. We have to weed out the bad apples.

Nonetheless, it’s been refreshing to see people- especially the younger generation- come together to fight for equality. We have a voice and we need to use it. Let’s be kind to one another. Kindness is contagious and it feels so good to do good unto others. I hope and pray that a change will come.

XX,

JJ

IG @ohhappydani

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