George Floyd's murder and the monsters that make it possible
These past days I have felt like the conversations in my family only revolve around that video. We don’t even dare to say his name afraid of the violent pains that it has sent through our inner most souls. My kids look away when it appears on news. It is unbearable to watch a man taking his last breath. It’s unbearable to watch a black man being killed yet again by a white man. It’s unbearable to watch the casual smug composure of a white man slowly draining the life off a black man. The arrogant haughtiness of a man who knows that the system is behind him. A man who knows that killing a black man will on a good day go without any notice. On a bad day, it might lead to being fired. For the most time, there are no consequences. Absolutely none.
As a parent of mixed race kids, it is impossible to ignore discussions about race. I feel a need to explain and comfort in times like this. I feel a need to make my kids understand what being 50% black mean in a racist violent world we live in. The violence that the United States is meting out on its black citizens is not much different from the violence that Nazi Germany meted out on its Jewish citizens. They ostracized them and made it impossible for them to hold jobs and earn a decent wage to fend for their families. They normalized the use of violent demeaning language to describe them. They dehumanized them in unthinkable ways.The Gestapo just like the American police were regularly used by Germans to harass and put Jews in their place. And they eventually put them in gas chambers and killed them.
My teen wanted to know how anyone could let this go on. I told her what I believe to be true. The victimization and killing of black people in America is going on because a big part of the white population accepts it. Just like in Nazi Germany, they are willing to look away because deep down, they believe that blacks are less deserving of a decent life, justice and respect. And just like in Nazi Germany, this can only change if white Americans become courageous enough to look in the mirror and recognize that they are the monsters that have created and continue to sustain the violence and the brutality of the American state. Amy Cooper lying to the police that an ‘African American’ man was threatening her life is the norm and not the exception. The Amycoopers are the fuel that create and sustain the violence against blacks.