In Minneapolis, an African American man, George Floyd, was killed by police, resulting in the firing of four officers. George Floyd’s death comes on the same day that a white woman in New York threatened an African-American birdwatcher by calling the police and invoking his race. The following day, black people protesting the brutal murder of Mr. Floyd were assaulted with police tear gas and rubber bullets. This police violence stands in sharp contrast to the images of police standing calmly while mostly white protestors—some of whom were carrying weapons—demonstrated for the reopening of businesses.
These instances of overt violence toward African Americans come while we too are navigating a pandemic that disproportionately threatens our health as well as our safety.
Racism is our underlying disease. How is that you can put your knee on a fellow human being’s neck and listen to him beg for air and just sit there? How is that you can call the police and weaponize the words “African-American male,” knowing that could very well lead to someone’s death? How is it that, despite knowing black people are dying at higher rates from COVID-19, more testing and resources aren’t deployed immediately to those communities?
Black people will remain resilient, but this can’t be our fight alone. It must be a collective fight where white Americans join us in fighting for real freedom. We will continue to find joy. We will continue to speak out against injustice. We will continue to fight white supremacy. Join us.
Danyelle Solomon, vice president of Race and Ethnicity Policy
Center for American Progress