2020 was quite the rollercoaster for everyone. Many people lost their jobs and many more were and still are forced to stay at home. The Covid-19 pandemic has caused numerous problems on multiple fronts, both to economy and to everyone’s mental health.

Now, imagine that amidst all this you are working man with five children to take care of. You’re working two jobs to put food on the table. You had some problems with the law about a decade ago but you’re now walking on the straight path (you even help out with church activities) so your criminal record is neither here nor there since you’re now a reformed man.

Imagine that the pandemic causes you to lose your first job as a truck driver and then your second job as bouncer, all within the span of 3 months. Imagine that you then catch the Covid-19 virus less than a month after all this. Luckily, you recover.

One day you walk into a convenience store for some cigarettes but as you’re paying, the teller says that the $20 bill you paid with is fake. Now, the bill you paid with may or may not be counterfeit so the situation escalates and the store employee calls the police.

Did I mention that you’re black? Well, imagine that you’re black.

Within minutes, four policemen arrive at the scene. All of them are white.

And just like that, we all know how this is going to end.

***

According to Statista, the rate of police shootings among black people in America stood at 35 per 1,000,000 people as of March 2021- the highest among all races and ethnicities.

The subject of racism and police brutality against minorities such as African-Americans has been discussed many times over the last two centuries. It is a problem that is deeply rooted in the slavery and abuse of black people by white people back when America was still a young country.

Let’s be frank- America was forcefully built on the backs of black people who were and still are being denied their rights. Yes, slavery has been abolished since then, yes, there is affirmative action that supports minorities and yes, things are way better now than they were then.

However, there’s a lot that still needs to be done to make sure that minority groups have an equal standing with the privileged in society.

Why is there so much hate against minorities?

Just a few months ago, people were assaulting Asians in the street because of baseless claims that they are somehow to blame for the spread of the coronavirus.

What happened to peace, love and tolerance?

Was the civil rights movement by Martin Luther king Jr., Rosa Parks, Malcolm X and many other all for nothing?

Do the words of Touré, Esmeralda Simmons, Melanie Campbell and so many others who fight for equality mean nothing?

***

On May 25th 2020, George Floyd, a black man, was killed by Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, who knelt on his neck for over eight minutes while ignoring pleas from bystanders and paramedics to stop.

His fellow officers stood by and did nothing.

As their trial continues, we can only hope that America will unite against racism and the people responsible for George Floyd’s death are punished to the full extent of the law.

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