By Jhasua Scicchitano – Editor-in-Chief
His black skin laid pressed against the asphalt, pinned by the knee of a white officer as his eyes welled up with tears, and for the next 8 minutes and 46 seconds he’d lay there, pleading for his life until the world finally went black. This was the ending to yet another tragic story in the black community.
On May 25, George Floyd, a 46-year old African American man was killed by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His last words, “I can’t breathe,” sent shockwaves through the nation and exposed issues of race and discrimination that still dwell in our society. We have been suffocating. This is not the first time a black man has been wrongfully killed. Public outcry surrounding the death of Floyd has reignited the Black Lives Matter movement, a movement where people protest and voice their concerns on the importance of equality and change. This is extremely important, but to what end do we apply this change? Treyvon Martin in 2012, unarmed, black, and fatally shot. Michael Brown in 2014, unarmed, black, and fatally shot. Eric Garner in 2014, unarmed, black, and choked to death. Now, George Floyd in 2020, unarmed, black, and choked to death. How many times are we going to say the same thing? It is clear, black lives matter, but why is it that some people still don’t seem to get the message?
In an interview with The Atlantic in 2015, sociologist Bruce Western noted, “We’ve chosen the response of the deprivation of liberty for a historically aggrieved group, whose liberty in the United States was never firmly established to begin with.”
Throughout American history, we have never treated people of color the same as whites. We have created a metaphorical wall in our society — dividing those who have freedom from those who never established it in the first place. It is because of this that the message of Black Lives Matter remains unclear. Until we start treating each other as equals, the world will never change.
Martin Luther King once said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”
So, will you speak up and make a difference or continue to be a bystander?