Updated: Jun 2
I protested yesterday in the streets of Long Beach with a purpose. The revolution is being televised! The president called us “Thugs,” and some news media outlets portray us as rioters. Asking why are we are tearing down and burning up our cities.
But these are not riots, it is a manifestation of our cries for justice that have gone unheard for far too long. We have used our voices in forms of peaceful marches and demonstrations, and as Professor Marc Lamont Hill so passionately expressed in his IGTV video, “We’ve tried sitting in, we’ve tried chanting, we’ve tried singing, we’ve tried rapping, we’ve used hashtags, and we’ve run marathons.” For far too long, we have been a 60-second blurb on the evening news.
But that all changed in the blink of an eye when we witnessed the murder of George Floyd by officer Derek Chauvin who brazenly and unapologetically pressed his knee on the restrained and helpless George Floyd until the breath of life left his body.
That incident was so horrendous, so inhumane and it flooded our memories of past and recent deaths of black men and women who died unmercifully at the hand of those who are supposed to protect and serve the citizens. It was the straw that broke the camels back. And when Mike Freeman, Hennepin County Attorney of Minneapolis stood in front of the cameras and made the egregious statement, “there is other evidence that does not support a criminal charge.
We need to weigh through all of that evidence to come through with a meaningful determination, and we are doing that to the best of our ability.” At that point, I realized that THIS revolution-unlike the Boston Tea Party- will be televised!
The pain that I felt after watching the video of George Floyd die reached into the depth of my soul and squeezed the chambers of my heart and it felt as if the flow of the blood circulating throughout my veins ceased. I was frozen in time and it felt as if I had entered the Twilight zone- experiencing the same event of a black person unjustifiably losing their life over and over again.
Their names shall forever be engraved into our hearts and our memories: Trayvon Martin,
Amadou Diallo, Eric Garner, John Crawford III, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Anthony Hill, Philando Castille, Dante Parker, George Mann, Tanisha Anderson, Mya Hall, Eric Harris, Walter Scott, Freddie Blue, Christian Taylor, Troy Robinson, Jamar Clark, Alonzo Smith, Jordan Edwards, Ronell Foster, Antwon Rose II, Dominique Clayton, Atatiana Jefferson, Eric Reason, Ahmad Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Sean Reed and George Floyd.
These are just the ones we know about. Just when we think we are about to exit the Farris wheel of injustice and inequality, it slows down but it never stops long enough for us to exit and step into the land of equality.
With each death, we spiral back into the twilight zone, and the wheel of injustice continues to turn. But today, we will not rest until a substantial change occurs in our society and institutionalized racism is eroded. We will march and we will protest. I felt so uplifted when I was marching downtown in Long Beach and saw a rainbow of faces marching alongside with US.
We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes.
Our voices will not be diminished. Our voices will not be distorted. But most importantly, our voices will not be silenced.
It should not take the flames of our cities to light the path toward justice. The fight for justice CONTINUES. #WeAreGenZ