A Stellar Flare of Young Adult Writing and Visual Art
BY JASMINE TAUBER
At first, I was reluctant to write an article about the current issue of the George Floyd protests. I thought I was not informed enough to have an opinion. Therefore I paid extreme attention to the unfolding events and what different activists and people at the fore front of these protests had to say. I was able to see what the media is missing yet is very important.
First of all, the media is tainting the protests as violence-filled protests, which is not entirely the case and it is very disturbing that this is what the media is focusing on.
Are they looting? Yes, are they damaging property? Yes. All this can be replaced, they can and will rebuild but unfortunately the same cannot be said for George Floyd’s life.
In fact, the police are the ones being violent towards the protesters with these so called rubber bullets that are supposedly not harmful yet leaving people missing some body parts.
Since 2014, the police have killed more people, not less. The rate at which people were killed by the police when there was no coronavirus or quarantine is the same as the rate of people killed during quarantine, coronavirus, or lock down. People are not even outside but the rate of deaths caused by the police is still the same, and it’s all about race. Black people have a higher chance of being killed by the police compared to white people.
However, these same people go ahead to protect some stores from some people who are taking advantage of the situation. These protesters that are accused of being violent are the ones protecting some cops from other people who are taking advantage of the protests. No, the protests are not violent.
Secondly, the act of looting is definitely not okay but let us take a deep dive under the surface of this subject in terms of Black America. Acknowledging the wealth inequality in America in terms of race, the black community ranks fourth out of four in the median household income in the United States by race and ethnicity and Native American tribal grouping (as of 2015) according to the United States Census. (Mixed race and mixed ethnicity categories are not listed.)
So, looting in Martin Luther King’s words in a letter he wrote to the American Psychological Association saying, looting comes from the deprived negro and allows them to take hold of consumer goods with the ease that a white man does by using his purse. And that often the negro doesn’t want what he takes but wants the experience of taking. The item, say a pair of shoes is not going to change anything but it is a symbolic taking. This does not rationalize this action but keep this at the back of your head before you judge them.
On another note, people of high ranking that are expected to act upon the unrest and even other curious souls are wondering what needs to be done in order to put an end to these protests. Most people think that the officers involved in the murder of George Floyd should be convicted for the protests to end.
Well, accountability is certainly necessary and it is sad to think that people have to first protest for someone in wrong to take responsibility for their actions. But let’s be able to differentiate ACCOUNTABILITY from JUSTICE. The posters clearly say “No Justice No Peace” or “Justice for George Floyd. “
Now I can tell you what is needed for this to end. Justice. Because with this in place there would definitely be no need for protests.
There would not be trauma to cause the protests. Ask me again what is needed to end the protests and I will tell you, the institution and policies governing the United States should change and favor all races because one thing for sure, they don’t favor our black brothers and sisters. Anything beside this is only a band aid but not a way foward.
The Black Community doesn’t have proper schools infact proper amenities in general and has been excluded from the social contract.
Then again, the African Americans have been told by whoever created the contract that if you follow the rules and do the right thing,you will be able to access the equal society. Which has not been true because a black man is still seen as a black man and will be judged by the colour of his skin.Hence the social contract violating the promises made to the African-Americans making it difficult for them to follow the rules because even when they do, they don’t get what they expect out it.
Finally, the point the media is not understanding: The protests are not only to attain justice in the matter of police brutality, but also other problems bothering the black community like racism, the negative portrayal of the community as negative, exclusion from the social contract, lack of diversity in different areas, progressive policies working against the success of a black man, you name it.
These occurrences, the media is certainly not showing you. The media should know and let others know there is a bigger picture. Hopefully this has been able to enlighten you. Now you know what you weren’t being told by the media.
Jasmine Tauber is from Uganda. She is passionate about what she writes.