General
SF Benson  

#BLM: Standing With…

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After a weekend of watching protests and riots and listening to others speak, it’s my turn to add my voice.

First and foremost, anyone with sensibilities to the human condition has to admit that the killing of another for no other reason than skin color is inherently wrong. The same can be said for sexual orientation and gender. Under no circumstances were the actions of former officer Derek Chauvin (and his cohorts) justified.

With that said, I understand the reaction of the world (yes, the world is in support contrary to our president’s belief). Protests are not just being held in America. In nearly every corner of the word, people are speaking out about injustice. Rightfully so. The seeds of racism were flung wide and continue to grow.

Do I condone the violence? No. Destroying property and stealing are also wrong. I do, however, understand why some individuals have resorted to it.

This country has been a ticking bomb waiting to explode. The pandemic only helped push people over the edge. Overwhelming unemployment combined with growing frustration regarding a lack of leadership exasperated the problem. The senseless killing of Mr. George Floyd was the straw that broke the donkey’s back.

Think about this…

If the vast majority of people had paid attention to Colin Kaepernick’s peaceful demonstration of taking a knee to speak out against police brutality, we may have never seen an officer callously place his knee on a man’s neck.

By all means, protest in peace, but sometimes that peace has to be broken. I am a child of the sixties. When the riots hit Detroit, I was only about four years old. Too young to truly understand the reasoning. My mother took my sister and I to Georgia to wait it out with family while my father protected the apartment. On return, I saw the crumbled remains of places we’d gone to. Years later, I saw how those places were never rebuilt. When properties in minority neighborhoods are destroyed, no one cares. Destroy valued places and people sit up. Don’t misunderstand what I’m saying though. This is NOT an excuse for rioting and looting (which never makes sense). It’s an explanation for those who might need it.

It is up to all of us to spread the message of peace. We must tell those in power that we’ve had enough. We’re tired of the hashtags. We’re tired of witnessing lives snuffed out too soon. As a Black American, I’m tired of being fearful when my husband is late coming home. Too many Black mothers are tired of having to have the talk with their sons. The one that reminds them how to behave if the cops pull them over.

Racism isn’t just a Black American problem. It’s ALL OF OUR problem! We’re in this fight together.

Speak up! Educate yourself and those that you know. Systemic racism is very real in this world. It can’t be swept beneath the rug any longer.

You can help by voting the right people in place. Vote locally! Vote nationally! Do not sit at home and let others cast their votes. Sitting idly by without a voice makes you complicit.

You can donate to the right causes as well. Support minority-owned businesses.

If you’re looking for a way to help, check out the following resources:

https://blacklivesmatter.com/resources

https://www.itsnicethat.com/news/resources-supporting-black-lives-matter-movement-creative-industry-010620

https://www.thecut.com/2020/06/george-floyd-protests-how-to-help-where-to-donate.html

Above all, stay safe! This country is suffering from two pandemics—COVID-19 and racism (thanks Don Lemon of CNN for pointing that out so eloquently)! It’s up to all of us to do our part to quell the storm.

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