Don’t wake up tomorrow on the wrong side of this issue.
It’s not too late to SAY:
Maybe I need to look at this from a different perspective.
Maybe I don’t know what it’s like to be Black (especially in America).
Maybe, just maybe, I have been taught wrong.
There is still so much work to be done. It’s been a really dark, raw week. This could still end badly. But all we can do is keep doing the work.
WE ARE NOT TRYING TO START A RACE WAR; WE ARE PROTESTING TO END IT, PEACEFULLY.
Bad press should not dilute the worldwide ongoing good work
We have had to hit rock bottom again before anyone will take any notice of our cry. It seems people have to die before anyone bats an eyelid and then when things start to look as though change might happen the rioting and looting that comes as a result of heat, anger, enough is enough, rage – the media jumps on those stories and prioritises them over the real issue of racism and #Blacklivesmatter.
YOU CANNOT SAY ‘ALL LIVES MATTER’ WHEN BLACK PEOPLE ARE DYING AND ALL YOU COMPLAIN ABOUT IS THE LOOTING.
People have a legitimate right to protest. Let’s not focus on those who want to highlight the negative parts of the protests. Not everyone that goes to a football match goes to watch the football.
Let’s take a leaf out of the civil rights movement. Protesting was just the beginning. That served to unify the people and bring attention to the issue.
Now we have to look at economic action, legislative reform and policing and people changing.
Don’t spray the street if only one house is burning
What I have come to realise is how little my white friends, colleagues and sisters knew about this deep-rooted systemic problem. They perhaps had heard of the words: slavery, oppression and white supremacy but they did not fully understand how deep these issues still were.
Over the past couple of weeks, I have heard stories of friends unfriending friends of over twenty years because one discovers that the other is racist or has chosen not to comment, which is even worse through fear of rocking the boat or saying what they really mean.
If we don’t speak about these issues, we cannot affect change. White supremacy is real. Privilege is real. Racism is real.
YOU CANNOT SAY ‘ALL LIVES MATTER’ WHEN YOU DO NOTHING TO STOP SYSTEMIC RACISM & POLICE BRUTALITY.
The other issue that keeps raising its head is the question of which lives matter. I’ve heard people say that people of colour are themselves racist because they only use the phrase Black Lives Matter. The point is white lives are not being lost because they are white. Black people are being killed because they are black. If your house is not burning why would you spray it and that of the street whilst letting the house on fire burn.
Business as usual
How many of us now are changing our practices, our choices, our suppliers to ensure that we identify with the problem? It is not enough to talk about change without action.
In my business I want to work with people who see the problem, have owned up to the fact that something is wrong in the world and want to work to fix it.
It is hoped that my target audience choose me as their mentor in property because they want to take direct action and are ready to buy, build, learn on the job and make a difference in the world not just talk about it.
So, what exactly has protesting accomplished?
Many will have seen this list. Let this serve as a positive reminder.
- Within 10 days of sustained protests: Minneapolis bans use of choke holds.
- George Floyd’s murderer was originally charged with 3rd degree murder. He is now being charged with 2nd degree murder.
- The other three officers who stood on scene and did NOTHING to help Floyd are being charged with aiding and abetting 2nd degree murder.
- Breonna Taylor’s Cade has been reopened.
- Louisville, KY’s mayor is ordering an outside review of the entire city police department.
- Dallas adopts a “duty to intervene” rule that requires officers to stop other cops who are engaging in inappropriate use of force.
- New Jersey’s attorney general said the state will update its use-of-force guidelines for the first time in two decades.
- A seminar scheduled in December for KC police that trains cops to kill without hesitation was cancelled.
- MBTA in Boston agrees to stop using public buses to transport police officers to protests.
- Police brutality captured on cameras leads to near-immediate suspensions and firings of officers in several cities (i.e., Buffalo, Ft. Lauderdale).
- Monuments celebrating confederates are removed in cities in Virginia, Alabama, and other states.
- James Miller resigned from his role in the Defense Asvisory Board at the Pentagon in response to the Secretary of Defense’s support of LEOs clearing out White House protestors with tear gas so Trump could take a publicity photo.
- Defense Secretary Mark Esper said he will oppose Trump’s threats to deploy federal troops to stop protestors across the US.
- The Street in front of the White House is renamed “Black Lives Matter Plaza.”
- Military forces begin to withdraw from D.C.
- People all over the world understand that their own fights for human rights, for equality and fairness, will become so much more difficult to win if we are going to lose America as the place where ‘I have a dream’ is a real and universal political program,” Wolfgang Ischinger, a former German ambassador to the US, told the New Yorker.
- In France, protesters marched holding signs that said “I can’t breathe” to signify both the words of Floyd, and the last words of Adama Traoré, a 24-year-old black man who was subdued by police officers and gasped the sentence before he died outside Paris in 2016.
- Cities across Europe have come together after the death of George Floyd:
- In Amsterdam, an estimated 10,000 people filled the Dam square on Monday, holding signs and shouting popular chants like “Black lives matter,” and “No justice, no peace.”
- In Germany, people gathered in multiple locations throughout Berlin to demand justice for Floyd and fight against police brutality.
- A mural dedicated to Floyd was also spray-painted on a stretch of wall in Berlin that once divided the German capital during the Cold War.
- In Ireland, protesters held a peaceful demonstration outside of Belfast City Hall, and others gathered outside of the US embassy in Dublin.
- In Italy, protesters gathered and marched with signs that said “Stop killing black people,” “Say his name,” and “We will not be silent.”
- In Spain, people gathered to march and hold up signs throughout Barcelona and Madrid.
- In Athens, Greece, protesters took to the streets to collectively hold up a sign that read “I can’t breathe.”
- In Brussels, protesters were seen sitting in a peaceful demonstration in front of an opera house in the centre of the city.
- In Denmark, protesters were heard chanting “No justice, no peace!” throughout the streets of Copenhagen, while others gathered outside the US embassy.
- In Canada, protesters were also grieving for Regis Korchinski-Paquet, a 29-year-old black woman who died on Wednesday after falling from her balcony during a police investigation at her building.
- In New Zealand, roughly 2,000 people marched to the US embassy in Auckland, chanting and carrying signs demanding justice.
- Memorials have been built for Floyd around the world, too. In Mexico City, portraits of him were hung outside the US embassy with roses, candles, and signs.
- In Poland, candles and flowers were laid out next to photos of Floyd outside the US consulate.
- And in Syria, two artists created a mural depicting Floyd in the north Western town of Binnish, “on a wall destroyed by military planes.”
ALL LIVES CANNOT MATTER UNTIL YOU INCLUDE BLACK LIVES.