In the middle of a global pandemic of unprecedented scale and disproportionate impact on the health and well-being of African Americans, the nation reckons with another.
Last week, we all watched in sheer horror as George Floyd took his last breaths under the knee of an officer. Before then, Ahmaud Aubrey was murdered at the hands of two vigilantes for the crime of an afternoon run. Breonna Taylor killed in her own home in the middle of the night from police officer fire. Eric Garner, while, too, pleading for his last breaths. Michael Brown, days after his high school graduation. Tamir Rice, while playing in a neighborhood park. Trayvon Martin, for his choice of clothing while walking to get a snack—iced tea and skittles.
We say their names, honor their legacy, but these tragedies feel uncomfortably familiar —their details have begun to echo each other.
The epidemic of police killings of unarmed African Americans is an unrelenting outrage, and we all have every right to the anger and pain felt so deeply right now.
And it’s not just the injustice of those that have fallen to their deaths. So many have privately talked about what they face each and every day, just by stepping outside their door.
We cannot and will not accept this injustice. Such lawless acts of state violence should never be normalized, nor should discrimination of any kind.
After the pain, after the anger, what are the next steps?
We cannot bring George Floyd back, but for all of us who stand for justice, who value life, we must also stand for truth, honor and equity no matter the consequences. This will be the true manifestation of how we make sure this moment is enduring, and most important of all, honor the legacies of those gone too soon at the hands of unrepentant perpetrators of racialized violence.
Rest in power.