The scourge of police brutality and racism reared in its ugly head again. Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd are the most recent names on a list that is far too long. As a black man, the last 10 days have been emotionally draining. An unhealed wound was reopened, and blood ran onto the streets, both literally and figuratively. In full disclosure, I was not able to watch the video of George Floyd being murdered. Hearing Mr. Floyd’s last words was extremely haunting.
The most haunting part about the recent events is the fear that I feel. I am man enough to admit that these recent events caused a level of fear to resurface in me, fear of the police and fear of the future. When I say fear of the police, let me be clear. I am not fearful of the man behind the badge. I am fearful that the badge that he or she wears, allows them to operate with a level of autonomy that allows them to end my life with no consequence.
These last few days have also made me fearful and uncertain of the future. The job of parents is to raise and protect our children. I feel like this world is volatile towards black skin, that I can do that job to the best of my ability, and it still might not be enough to protect them. I am afraid to bring black sons into a world where travesties like what happened to George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery can occur. I’m fearful of bringing black daughters into a world where they are targeted like Sandra Bland or killed without consequence like what happened to Breonna Taylor and even still, our black women go largely unprotected. BLACK MEN, WE HAVE TO DO BETTER!!
Even though my heart is heavy, I do feel a glimmer of hope. This generation made history. All 50 states, and countries around the world all stood in protest. The world stood in support of black life. I received a special glimmer of hope yesterday. As I was leaving my neighborhood, I passed by a young black boy riding his bike. He waved as I drove by, and I saluted him with a fist. He put his fist back up with a smile. His smile reestablished my hope in the future. His smile reminded me of the resilience that we have as black people.
More than anything, his smile reminded me not to be paralyzed by fear. A fire was lit, and with that fire, I pledge my support to making the future better for that child, and every black boy and girl in this country. I pledge my support to protecting black women, and I urge all of my brothers to do the same. We owe it to ourselves, to our ancestors, and to the future, to find our role in this and do our part daily, to be the change that we want to see.