By Brie Thompson-Bristol
As I have continued to sit at home with family, counting the days of my life in quarantine, I can not help but weep. I am weeping for my community, I am weeping for my peers, and I am weeping for African Americans, Africans, and Black persons as we continue to battle against the hatred and bigotry that has threatened us since birth. I weep for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Tony McDade who have been slaughtered by the United States police. I weep for the innocent protestors who scream in pain with us as we watch our black blood spread on the pavement all over broadcast news.
But most of all, I weep for these victims’ families and friends whose lives are now changed forever.
As the world currently faces the global pandemic of COVID-19, it would be common knowledge that vulnerable communities need help more than ever. However, all I have seen in this country is selfishness as certain people refuse to wear protective gear and demand that they are more valuable than others. We know who these people are, therefore, I will not go into detail. However, it should be noted that these people are also calling the police on innocent persons, in an attempt to devalue their lives. Somehow, this pandemic has stopped everything besides racism, and police brutality.
This is, and will always be unacceptable. Within the past 72 hours, I have seen four different attempts at this occurrence and two deaths as a result of it.
On May 26, 2020, an unarmed Floyd was murdered in Minneapolis via a strangling of the neck by police officers who knelt on his neck as he was being handcuffed. The videos of this encounter are graphic and highly upsetting, as the public can hear Floyd scream to the heavens “I can’t breathe.”
Those heartbreaking three words should be a reminder to all that this is not okay. Treating and disregarding black bodies as nothing is not okay. Standing in silence as a helpless person in front of you is being murdered by “protective forces,” is not okay.
On May 27, 2020, an unarmed McDade was gunned down in Tallahassee, after police unleashed gunshots with no warning – according to a bystander. There has been little news coverage of this occurrence, however, his name shall not be silenced within the chaos of 2020.
During this time I urge you to think of your actions and how they may impact your peers’ lives. I urge you to continue the fight for the Black Lives Matter movement and assist in making sure that the world is held accountable for violence against peaceful maneuvers.
The Rebirth Project staff and contributors, vow to play its part in ensuring this accountability. As we have expressed various times, we value diversity through all outlets as we continue to report on community values and concerns. I would like to remind you that we are with you in this ongoing fight against racism, police brutality, and racially motivated murders, and you can count on this publication to further assist you.
Please stay healthy, please stay safe inside your homes, and please check in on your loved ones.