On March 13th of this year, Breonna Taylor was an ordinary woman, sleeping in her bed. Then the police barged into her home and she became another icon of racism and police brutality.
The outcome of the trial against the police officers who killed her was announced today. The grand jury in Kentucky declined to charge the officers for her murder.
Once again, the message is clear. Americans of color are unimportant and their lives are disposable. The police can do whatever they want, without fear of the justice system catching up to them. I wish I could say that in 2020, things have changed. But nothing has changed and another life was needlessly lost.
When it comes to our children, we are taught that we should model the behavior that we want them to emulate.
If that is the case, then I wonder what the children of the Jacob Blake have learned. On Sunday afternoon, Mr. Blake, an unarmed African-American man, was shot by police. They shot him in front of his three children as they sat in the family car. The children are all under the age of ten.
As of yesterday, Mr. Blake was still in intensive care.
I have to wonder what message this sends not only to his children, but to everyone’s children? That people of color, especially African-American men and women, are automatically suspicious because of their skin color?
This summer has been one of upheaval, to say the least. Between the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, protests have been happening non stop. The message should be loud and clear. Law enforcement does not have the carte blanche right to arrest and kill simply because the assumed perpetrator has dark skin.
My prayer is two fold. The first half is that Mr. Blake wakes up and returns home as physically and emotionally whole as possible. The second half is that his children are do not grow up with the emotional scars that come with what they witnessed.
America is a country built on double standards. The basis of our cultural and legal ideals comes from need to be free as a person and a citizen. But America is also a country built on the backs of African-Americans. For most of our history, they have been used, degraded, de-humanized and denied the most basic of rights.
In the wake of the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and many others, the country has become mobilized to right the wrongs of the past.
Today is Juneteenth. I have to admit that up until recently, I had not heard of this day. Now that I know about it, I wish that it had part of the curriculum when I was in school.
Across the political and cultural spectrum, there have been calls to make Juneteenth a national holiday. In my home state of New York, it has been declared a state holiday.
After 400 years of servitude, it is about time we gave the African-American community their due. It’s time to demolish the economic, political, and social structures that have forced Americans of color into a permanent underclass. It’s time to live up to the ideals that the United States is built upon.
Only then will we no longer live with a double standard.
Leadership is proven and/or defined during times of crisis. How a specific leader rises or falls to the challenge in front of them speaks volumes.
Between Covid-19 and the nationwide protests over the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, America is at a crossroads. We should have a President who is up to the task of leading us through what can only be defined as an extremely very difficult time. Instead, we have a President who hides in a proverbial bunker, tweets incessantly and uses the Police (like he does everything) for personal gain.
This morning, Randy Rainbow released his latest video. It is entitled THE BUNKER BOY – A Randy Rainbow Song Parody.
For the last three years, we have dealt with this President’s tantrums, lies, and inability to do the job Americans hired him to do. It’s time to send a clear message that we have had enough of his antics. We need a real President, not one who is pretending to be one.