Amadou Diallo. Sean Bell. Breonna Taylor. Eric Garner. Michael Brown. And now, George Floyd. All of these are names of members of the black community. All of these are names of human beings with lives of value. Yet, all of these are the names of people who have died at the hands of individuals who swore to serve and protect their community.
It is heart wrenching to see a growing set of names on a list that should not exist. History has seen some horrors in the past, in terms of discrimination based on race, and yet here we are now, in 2020, with racism, xenophobia and extreme inequalities still being the biggest issues our world faces today.
George Floyd was a 46-year-old black man, who was killed by a white officer in Minneapolis, who kneeled on his neck despite his pleas of not being able to breathe. The three officers on site, stayed on seemingly unbothered.
Amidst the global pandemic, the disparities of social equality in America have become even more glaringly evident, with a disproportionate share of Covid-19 fatalities emerging from the black community – indicating the lack of equal access to healthcare as well as the gaping income inequality.
What Floyd’s death indicates, is the harsh truth that even in the midst of an epidemic, the black community is still not exempt from their daily battle – a fight for their lives to truly matter.
This fight for equality dates back centuries. From the fight to abolish slavery, to the fight for civil rights – the black community has fought long and hard for the most basic privileges of being a human being. Yet, it seems strange that we claim to have progressed so far as humanity collectively, when members of our community are still fighting, years later, for those same basic rights. The basic right of not having to fear for your life because of the colour of your skin.
At the base of police brutality against people of colour, lies this glaring tipped inequality, used in a system of hailed white supremacy. From the policemen who racially profile and violently attack black citizens, to a President who regards the Minneapolis protesters as ‘thugs’ , white supremacy is echoed at every level in this failed system.
Yet, the hope lies in the hands of the community that is now challenging these notions and fighting for a more equal world. Despite how impossible it may have seemed at the time, it was once the community that fought for justice that emancipated slavery. It is this community now, that can someday eradicate racism altogether in a fight that establishes that all lives cannot matter until black lives do.
Last modified: 31st May 2020