Reflection: One Year After the Death of George Floyd
It has been one year since the passing of George Floyd and it still hurts to think about to this day. It doesn't feel like a whole 365 days have passed since a black man who was loved by so many was murdered in broad daylight by former police officer, Derek Chauvin. So much has happened in a year. So much is different, yet so much is still the same.
On May 25, 2020 there was a shift in the atmosphere. I look back at pictures of all the Black Lives Matter protests and it brings tears to my eyes. I remember watching the news seeing people marching and coming together because we finally decided that enough was enough. Seeing that graphic video of Chauvin's knee on George Floyd's neck sparked demonstrations all over the world. "I can't breathe" became a rallying chant everywhere. It truly was the beginning of the change we as black people have been begging for.
I hate that it took this incident for our country to wake up. Inequality, police brutality, colonial transgressions and racism has been in this country for centuries. And it took a recording of a black man dying in front of our eyes for people to to start listening to what we have been pleading about since our ancestors were slaves.
So here we are one year later, and the question is "Are we better?" I honestly think it's impossible to say. There is no way to rid the world of racism in just one year. Centuries of oppression can't be overturned in 365 days. But I will say that I've seen change. I've seen companies create diversity and inclusion councils. I've seen white people who were silent before speak out and condemn racism. I have seen legislations passed regarding police training. And I've seen people be held accountable for their actions. But there is more work to do. The key is to call out injustice when we see it happening to our neighbor.
I still have hope in this country and that one day the men who look just like me won't have to live their lives in fear of the ones who are supposed to protect us. I still have hope that one day a chill won't go down my spine every time I see the flashing red and blue lights on the road. And I still have hope that one day my people won't be viewed as a threat, but instead as human beings...just like everyone else.
PHOTOS: Protests around the world in the wake of George Floyd's death