May 26th is an important date for me because six years ago on May 26th 2014, my father died.
I don't talk about it because it's a personal subject to me. That event is my memory to keep, my emotions to feel, and even though I've had the time to make peace and accept that he is no longer in this physical world, I still deeply miss him. When you lose someone you love, especially a parent who you have a healthy relationship with, it's tremendously painful. The cause of my father's death was cardiac arrest. I can remember every little emotion that went on in my head and I won't get into the details, but I will say that there were multiple times that I thought things could not be worse. On a personal level, this is still the worst thing to have happened in my life because I was only sixteen, already feeling isolated and lonely while struggling with depressive episodes and social anxiety. Yet, I've grown from that moment and I like to think that I've made my father proud with a lot I have accomplished and the person I've become in these last six years. So, why is it that after six years I'm finally making some sort of comment about it? Where am I going with this?
May 26th 2020: Imagine how I felt looking at my phone and turning on the news to see a man who shared the same beautiful rich skin tone that my father had being arrested and begging for his life because police were abusing their position of power with a knee dug into his throat ultimately killing him. Four police officers against one man. Four police officers who showed no remorse, no real response, no real reaction to killing a Black man in front of anyone there to witness knowing fully well that they had the most authority in that moment because who would dare to go up against the police? Specifically, who would risk going up against the police who are publicly killing a man? A man who was crying for his mother, begging for oxygen, and pleading to let him live because he knew they were going to kill him. By the time the video was over, I was a mess of tears. I cried because people of color, predominantly Blacks, are still dealing with inequality and unjustifiable murder. I cried because there are still police officers with racist agendas and superiority complexes establishing fear and dominance in communities simply because they know they can. I cried because I saw a man be murdered without a single thought or hint of regret. I cried because I couldn't help but think about George Floyd's family which then made me think of my own. That could have been one of my cousins, one of my uncles, one of my nephews, or one of my friends. Then I thought about my father dying of cardiac arrest, one of many awful ways a person can go. Yet, I realize that it was not the worst option for my father because my father could have easily been a name on a disgustingly long lists of Black people in America that have suffered injustice and uncalled for abuse and death from the hands of law enforcement. After I finished sobbing, I started to get angry and that anger has stayed with me all week. Actually, I take that back because angry isn't the right word for how I've been feeling, I feel rage. I have felt rage this entire week because once again there has been an act of racism, an act of prejudice, an act of injustice, and yet...no real action by the people who are supposed to be protecting us and taking care of the people.
"Oh, but Dasia, they fired all the officers!" Yeah, okay, I know. Is that supposed to be enough?
I'll answer for you: It's not.
If you're someone who refuses to think about this situation and the bigger picture that comes with it, then you're part of the problem. If you're someone who looks around your circle of peers and family with claims to not see color, then you're ignoring that we're in a society that sees color at all times and you're ignoring how that impacts the people around you. If you're White and you don't think this is your place to say something or do something, guess what? You are the problem too. If you don't consider the impact colorism has had alongside racism, then you're part of the problem. If you're someone who can look at people of color, such as myself, and not acknowledge their racial validity and the dangers they will face in the world, then you are part of this ugly cycle. What happened to George Floyd was socially and politically wrong and it's revolting to say that it's not the first time a situation like this has happened. This is why movements like Black Lives Matter exist. This is why people of color are always "defensive" or "paranoid", which correction, is just people of color being aware, cautious, and actively looking out for themselves and one another since nobody else seems to want to do it. This is why the Black community fights so hard to be heard, to be seen, and then have to fight more to be treated with basic human decency and rights. This is why I'm full of rage because this keeps happening. I feel rage because so many like Floyd have died this way. I am full of rage because there are people who will try to justify not only his murder but many others as well. I am full of rage because people can't fully trust the law. I am full of rage because when people try to peacefully protest on this matter, the police are the first to throw tear gas and shoot rubber bullets, but when people want to shout in their face with their armed weapons because they can't go get a haircut and sunburn on the beach, the police stand there and act like nothing is happening. I am full of rage because protests have turned into riots and a lot of the people reading this will turn around and blame all of it on those protesting.
If you want to actually do the right thing and become an alliance in a fight that has been going on for an unnecessary amount of time then by all means help yourself to the links below.
If you think this was a waste of time reading or think I'm being dramatic or angry for no reason, then please help yourself off my pages and out of my life because you are not welcomed.