There are a variety of questions and comments that people of color encounter, and in this article, I will discuss and explain the most prevalent ones. Prepare to open your mind, your heart, and your ears to understand and empathize with the plight of people of color.
(1) Many people ask, why do we protest?
We protest to be heard and to see a change be made as a result. This is NOT a movement born out of hate, but a movement born out of hope, frustration and pain. We are not fighting for more, we will not accept less, but we will demand equal. All people of color have asked for is equality. We do not seek anything that we are not afforded as citizens of the United States.
(2) People tell us it isn’t that bad, and that we are making it worse than it is.
For anyone who tries to minimize the trauma that people of color have endured, you are truly blind to reality. George Floyd and countless others have depicted for your viewing pleasure that it is that bad. And there is nothing that people of color can do to make this problem any worse than it already is. There is nothing worse than hav- ing to watch a man, woman or child being unjustly gunned down in the street — and then stomaching the reality that nothing will happen to the police officer who committed that atrocity.
(3) People of color are constantly told that police officers are just doing their jobs.
But at some point, we have to ask ourselves what is the job of the police? The job is to protect and serve, not to abuse and murder. So, if abuse and murder are not contained in the job description, people must stop dismissing our pain and recognize that police officers across this nation are not meeting the standards of their job. And, as a result, they are not doing their job correctly or morally.
(4) People ask us, why don’t you let the government fix things?
We are waiting for them to fix things. But we will not stand idly by while they allow our people to be killed in the street and the murderer to continue to go on as if no one lost their life. How would you feel if you were the one in our shoes? Would you want to be asked to wait for the government to fix things? When someone tells you to wait for the government to fix things, they are acknowledging that there is in fact a problem, yet they are not willing to help you solve it. The lack of empathy for our struggle only drives us further apart from each other, which simply enforces prior biases and allows the flawed power construct to continue controlling our society.
(5) People of color are told that if we didn’t do this or that, the officer wouldn’t beat us, abuse us, dehumanize us, traumatize us or kill us.
But it is not a crime to ask why you were pulled over or if the officer can call their superior to make you feel more comfortable or to comply with the officer’s request of grabbing your license and registration. The crime is not committed by the victim. The crime is committed by the criminal. And police officers who abuse their power and unnecessarily escalate situations are the criminals.
The question you must ask yourself is when will you stop harassing people of color with questions and start asking more from yourself, your peers, your teachers, your family, your police officers and your government officials. Asking those questions begins moving the tide toward change and changing words into actual action that produces results. Thank you for your time, and I give all honors to God.