I wanted to share the positive things I’ve seen during the George Floyd protests.
I also wanted to bring to light events that haven’t necessarily been picked up by the mainstream media (yet). The other day I asked my mom, a well-read woman who keeps on top of the news, if she’d seen the Killer Mike speech in Atlanta. She hadn’t.
I’ve spent most of my time on Twitter, following conversations, reading news articles, watching livestreams, and spending much of my time–like its eponymous name–listening to voices of over 140 African American journalists, artists, entrepreneurs, politicians and activists.
Through the death and destruction, the positivity I see is perspective.
Good lessons teach you to look at things with different perspectives.
The most important lesson humanity needs to learn is to move the conversation from THEM, to US, to ME.
To look inward.
Change the question: “Why are they doing that?” → “Why are we doing that?” → “Why am I doing that? “
Without individual perspective, humanity will not progress.
When looking through each of these links, internalize what is happening and acknowledge what you are seeing.
Take it deep inside.
Put it in your heart.
Then, look through the eyes of the ones in the video experiencing it firsthand. Then look through the eyes of the onlookers. Then the millions of people watching around the world.
Inspirational leaders rise to the top. Killer Mike gives an urgent, eloquent, and impassioned speech to plot, plan, strategize, organize, and mobilize.
Before our eyes, we are witnessing cops doing fucked up things that most of us will never experience in our lifetimes, like when this black family’s business was being looted and they are handcuffed while the looters escape.
Important multigenerational conversations are fast-forwarded, like in this impassioned plea to the youth.
Peaceful protests are happening, regardless of what the media wants to portray like in Portland, NYC, Minneapolis. Most importantly, it’s happening in Camden and Newark, two cities with pasts marred by police violence that have recently turned the corner. Here’s a great read about what changed in Newark. Ras Baraka, who led part of the peaceful protest and is the Mayor of Newark, is one of the subjects of this Frontline piece about policing the police. In the film it shows the struggles he has in reforming Newark’s notoriously violent police force.
People express themselves differently during times of grief, whether it’s by singing at the top of your lungs, a long hug with a stranger, a dance with some friends, or a powerful expression of sadness. That man dancing is Big Mijo, one of the creators of krumping, a dance style to escape gang life and express raw emotions in a non-violent way.
Politics are changing. Just today, Ferguson, Missouri elected its first black AND female mayor and Iowa voted out its racist incumbent congressman. Not to mention a Confederate monument was peacefully removed in Alabama.
Eat the Influencers… like this woman who staged a fake post, received instant backlash, and has since taken all her social profiles offline,
…and celebrate the humble heroes like Rahul who sheltered 70 young protestors overnight in his house.
And let’s take a moment to sit back and admire how awesome the Nonstop Riders are.
But to me, the most powerful is the awakening of the young.
And in the darkest times, some lights shine the brightest.
BLACK LIVES MATTER
BLACK LIVES HAVE ALWAYS MATTERED