Now what? Changes we can make following George Floyd’s death
We ask for peace and it’s quiet. We scream for justice and we’re silenced. We go for a simple walk, yet we have to run and hide. We live in the same house, yet we’re treated like guests. We do nothing wrong, yet we get framed. We do the same things as everyone else, yet we’re not treated the same. We can’t breathe— we can’t even get some air. We have had enough, and not enough has changed. Now what?
The death of George Floyd seems to be the tipping point. It’s unfortunate that it was only reached in 2020, seeing that the same story has repeated itself every year. We’ve heard stories like Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Nicholas Gibbs, Breonna Taylor, Regis Korchinski-Paquet and many more way too many times. What’s different this time? It could be the fact that it isn’t just black people who’ve had enough. The faces seen, the fists thrown, and the voices heard all seem different this time. There’s more than just black people speaking out. This isn’t a black problem anymore, it’s everyone’s problem. So, people are starting to get it. We need more, but it’s a start. Now what?
Black screens and reposts are great, but it’s not worth much if you don’t know what you’re fighting for. You might know what’s going on, but do you know why it’s happening? Your repost helps, but did you ask yourself if it’s enough? You could list out all the campaigns to donate to, but did you contribute? Educating yourself is just as important as educating others. Education is free these days: it’s called Google. That goes for everyone, black or white. It’s a matter of talking and listening, communicating and understanding. Once everyone is on the same page, ask again: now what?
It’s one thing to talk about racism at the dinner table, but government tables should be having the same conversations. From every small county to the federal level, systematic changes must be made. While racism is still very much present, a lot of it is amplified because of systematic realities. Government officials should have more knowledge of the subject, but many are incompetent in a lot of people’s eyes—but you didn’t hear that from me! The public should educate themselves and hold the people in positions of power accountable for a lot of the injustice and prejudice currently happening. Our good old friend Google can help with that! People who want a better understanding should probably look him up.
Racism won’t be fixed any time soon. It’s a long-term process. While we make strides as people towards improving the state of humanity, every step of the way, we should ask ourselves: now what?
Photo by Hadassah Alencar.