The day I found my voice again was an ordinary day. I awoke as usual contemplating how I would conquer the day’s tasks with a renewed dedication to alleviating this world’s social ills. As a person of color who has lived much of her life experiencing those very same social ills without any relief, the year of 2020 has been marked with pain and trauma.
My optimism was quickly dashed as a breaking news story would shatter any illusions I had about the progression of equity in America. As I watched a human being murdered without any remorse, the early morning newscast proceeded with a familiar diatribe about the evilness of being a non-white citizen as justification for a police officer to commit murder in real time on video.
As I watched a member of the police department choke out a man with gleeful disregard for his humanity, my heart sank. The writing had been on the wall for awhile, but for this murder to happen in my own state within my own my backyard has scarred my soul. I believed that with the election of a person of color that America had finally turned the corner on its ugly past of discrimination and bigotry, but what I had not realized was that America had not dealt with the inhumane practices that are imbedded within every system here; in fact, these discriminatory practices were now being exposed as mechanisms of captivity that the status quo was happy to remain intact in spite of their violations of civil rights for people of color in America.
George Floyd became a rallying cry for me to refocus my destiny of reshaping America’s race relation practices and to fight on for equity for all within my state of Minnesota as well as for all people of color in the entire world.
In the year of 2020, I learned about global togetherness during a time of extreme separation from one another. I found that despite adversity that each one of us could do our part to ensure a better future for us all. My view of global unity being the solution to the Covid-19 Pandemic isolation was of a minority, and I witnessed the same people sowing hate were the same people trying to strip the rights of people of color in a new effort to revive Jim Crow practices. The moral majority were infected with lies and fear directed at communities of color by those they trusted. Considering empathy and compassion was not the popular view of those who tried to secure power by any means necessary in direct opposition to the will of the majority of Americans, yet it did not deter me from doing my part to protect us all from the infection as well as the virus of racism.
Last year showcased the inhumane and illogical reasoning of hate against many minority communities spurred on by a corrupt head of state—mainly our illegitimate racist ex-president and his administration of hate and greed. The atrocities of racism did not begin with him, and they will not end unless America faces the stark reality of unending torturous practices against fellow American because of race. As a united country we must unequivocally denounce any policies, agents, systems and/or financial inequalities that inherently deter Americans from pursuing their own economic and prosperity dreams despite their heritage or ethnicity.
These demands are no longer a dream but instead are the rights of all Americans that will not be trampled on, forgotten or denied any longer.
So, as I reflect upon last year with a renewed fire for social justice. I will no longer listen to the empty promises of politicians. I will no longer accept the abuses of rogue police officers sworn to protect me. I will no longer suffer abuses from criminal landlords that take tax credits for housing the low income but then turn around to misuse their tenants because of their socioeconomic status, and I will no longer be silent about any mistreatment of any human ever again.
We have all heard their names and suffered through the trauma of seeing ordinary people gunned down in their sleep, choked out on national television and murdered for picking up a snack wearing a hoodie. I have chosen to say no more, and this will not stand any longer in America. Colin Kaepernick has said no more. Black Lives Matter has said no more senseless murders of POC for trivial pursuits of white supremacist policies.
Traumatized repeatedly for over 400 hundred years is a human rights holocaust. POC are continuously being traumatized in real time with the repeated viewing over George Floyd’s murder as the trial of Derek Chauvin lingers in the background of our daily lives. We will tear down that blue wall of silence that protects these murderers embedded within the police department. As you know, it is very difficult to convict police officers because of their immunity to many of their crimes. We will transform policing standards when it comes to using force and how police interact with communities of color. We will abolish this wall of complicit silence when a police officer violates the rights of American citizens with harsh penalties and disbarment from ever serving in a public service capacity ever again.
So, as I reflect about last year, I have ascertained that this will be an arduous uphill battle towards equitable outcomes for communities of color, but first I must find healing from the trauma as I charge on to change the narrative because if I don’t who will?
So, we rise! We renew and we rebuild this America, a land of freedom in word only. We are resolved to change and renew the promise of freedom for all its citizens despite their insurrectionist ways.