The Sad Reality Behind the Death of George Floyd

By on May 26, 2020

Globally we’re all upset, sad, angry, disappointed and confused about what happened. This is an unfortunate reality we face. Let me try my best to explain it.

The constant walking around with a target on your back. You’re viewed as a threat by law enforcement, members of society, and sadly, your own kind. You can get senselessly killed simply because you’re perceived as a threat, and not actually having done anything. Laws and rules that apply to others, don’t apply to you. If you do something as simple as jogging, or driving your own car, you could be killed at any moment. The mental preparation that when you leave your home, you may not return is a very real thing.

Then when it’s being reported by the media, it’s one-sided. They’ll dig up whatever dirt they can find, and if they find anything, that becomes the narrative, as though you somehow deserved to die.

Someone will verbally abuse you, and if you even dare defend yourself, they will call the police on you.

You can also be a victim of mistaken identity, and get killed because you “looked like someone”. 

Imagine being viewed in a binary lens. You’re either categorized as “good black” or “bad black”, there’s never an in-between. No nuance, no extenuating circumstances, nothing. 

If you’re with a group of black friends and you’re seen, be prepared to have people stare fearfully and law enforcement may want to come and “see what you’re up to.”

I wouldn’t trade my race or nationality for anything in the world. I feel very privileged and blessed. If I was given the choice, 10 times out of 10 I’d choose to be me all over again. 

For me, I’ve reached a point where this type of stuff is not depressing. It’s not sad either. Don’t get me wrong, I feel sympathy and sadness, but more than anything, it’s just exhausting. Having to be on alert 24/7 in every environment you’re in is tiring. Imagine being in a battlefield having to constantly look over your shoulder.

We don’t need pity. We don’t need thoughts and prayers. Just let us live our life in peace. Give us justice, equity, equality and respect.

If we had gotten those things, George Floyd would still be alive.

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Yusuf is an author of three books, podcast host and an award-nominated freelance writer.