Martin Luther King Jr said “But it is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the negro poor has worsened over the last twelve or fifteen years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice and humanity.”
If you have spoken up against the riots after blurring past the death George Floyd it’s because you think this is all about George Floyd. My wife referred to his death as “the straw that broke the camel’s back.” What most of you fail to understand is that this out of control response is the reaction of exhaustion. The list of George Floyd is long, deep, painful and historical. It is centuries of documented and undocumented racism that has sparked the riots we see today and we should be grateful that these riots are not equal of the wrongs that have been served up to black people over the course of time. So with one breath I am saying yes it’s wrong but what in the world did you expect?
Have you ever snapped at someone because you hadn’t had much sleep and were overwhelmed. Well the response we are seeing across America is not over this one death. It’s over a scene that plays over and over and over in our communities. The people that can’t relate are mainly the people that don’t live in dark enough skin. It’s an exhausting experience when we continue to bury family that died at the hands of a trigger happy police officer.
On top of that, we can’t even imagine the number of black people who are sitting in jail right now because the police found a black person to blame and Persecute just to appease a white family because a white family was devastated from a crime that had taken place. These numbers are overwhelming!
It’s so important for us to understand that an entire system needs to be reconstructed with the inclusion of black America helping provide attention to the flaws embedded in laws made to specifically target minorities. It’s important for law enforcement and court systems to be held accountable when the presence of color determines whether force or sentencing is unfair and excessive.
We simply need accountability! We must see justice. We can not stop demanding it! Here’s the key though. We cannot get the accountability which could be lasting in the streets. We must raid the system with minds weaponized with our knowledge of constitutional rights and organizational strategies supported by the same passion that moves towards a specified target.
Let’s get to work!
Aquila T Carmon