A lot of my friends have been asking me to share my thoughts on recent world events; specifically that of the tragic death of George Floyd.
At first, I was nervous to be speaking about such a sensitive topic. But I think when we keep silent, we are doing a disservice to those who came before us.
I don’t think I can ever get the image of that police officer’s knee on George’s neck out of my mind. Because that image to me is what 400 years of our history looks like.
It is hard for some to understand why such anger has erupted. And while I don’t agree with the violence in any way, I understand why people are angry.
I had the privilege of growing up in a family that taught me nothing but love. even for those that might not give it back. Yet there are those who grew up on nothing but stories of hate and violence towards their people; their families. They have grown up on stories of oppression, atrocity and injustice and it is all they know. And all they see, like me, is that image.
We don’t need your judgement and anger. Unfortunately, we have had years of that. What we need is the empathy and the understanding that we have never had the chance to receive.
All we need is for someone to just listen. Because at the heart of it all, we all want someone to listen to us, no matter how quiet our voice. We want someone to hear our story, and it’s this empathy and understanding that will allow us to heal. Because that anger will never go away if we don’t have the chance to heal.
Your anger is not helping; but your love will.
We, as a people, are hurting and we haven’t had a chance to heal that hurt. We have stayed silent, we have cried, we have screamed, we have walked and we have run. There are those who have slipped through the cracks and broken the mould and expectations. Yet there are still millions of us stuck in a system that won’t let us be better. We have been forced to be anything but better, and always less.
Our lives should be more than a colour, more than a movement, more than a month, more than what has been made of us. I don’t want my history to be one of oppression but one of freedom. Change happens when people take a stand and for me this is my stand. This is me raising my fist and being proud of my culture and my ancestors who came before me.
A lot of people have been asking, “what can we do to help?”
And I have always responded with educate yourself; stand up and speak out. But even if you can’t do any of those things, the least you could do is listen. We have been silenced for too long and now, we have a chance to get our voices heard. All that we need is someone who is willing to hear us.