“Racism: prejudice, discrimination, and/or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior.”
Protests have erupted across the world, sparked by the death of George Floyd, a fourty six year old black man who died when Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes while Floyd was handcuffed face down in the street.Two other officers further restrained Floyd and a fourth officer prevented onlookers from intervening: During the final three minutes Floyd was motionless and had no pulse. No attempt was made to resuscitate Mr Floyd who had Chauvin's knee on his neck for several minutes. Floyd had been arrested for passing a counterfeit bill at a nearby market. Eye witnesses captured evidence of the attack and this has been widely circulated on social media and broadcast news.
One of my Facebook friends posted a question that had been in the back of my mind. He asked if George Floyd's death could have been simply from police brutality and not racism. It is true that Derik Chauvin had 18 prior complaints about his aggressive behavior. What is not known is how many of those victims were people of color. Two of the officers who stood by and allowed his actions were men of color, as one was black and the other of Asian descent. This morning Americans were made aware of a 75 year old white male, who was knocked down by police and left bleeding on the sidewalk. This indicates insensitivity for a human life, and an older American. What it does not do, however, is erase the situations where race is a factor. Let's not throw out the baby with the bathwater.
We as a younger generation of Latinos have the responsibility to start a very difficult conversation about race with our loved ones. This conversation is necessary as our cultures have 527 years of colonialism ideologies engraved in our DNA.
Slavery in America officially ended in 1865. That means there has been 155 years since the Emancipation Proclamation. I am 61 and my great grandmother who was born in 1900 told me that her own mother was a little girl when slavery ended. That makes me five generations removed from when Americans owned people as property. My great grandma’s mother would have been considered. a slave even though she was a child. Keeping this in mind, then Gregory McMichael age 64 and his son Travis 34 would logically be 5 and 6 generations removed from the time owning slaves was legal. These are the men who are being charged with shooting Ahmaud Aubrey because he was a black man jogging in their neighborhood.
FINDING HOPE IN THE AFTERMATH
Most white people in the US are familiar with explicit racism or racism that is a conscious choice to actively hate or discriminate someone of another race. Most white people associate explicit racism as the main form of racism in the US and believe to support racism it has to a conscious choice like joining the KKK or using racial slurs at a non-white person someone. Explicit racism is a growing problem in this country but it’s a very small part of the actual racism that occurs, often unconsciously, in this country.
Rage has always been the most dreaded symptom that I experience from Borderline Personality Disorder. It tends to come out the strongest when I am extremely passionate about something, and the current events involving the murder of George Floyd have really been affecting me. The George Floyd murder ignited my BPD rage, and it has been burning off and on for days. My rage has kept me fired up and has made it hard to function, but the one good thing about experiencing BPD rage is that you can use it to inspire you to act and make positive change. If you are experiencing BPD rage, or any form of rage during this time, consider the following actions to positively channel your anger. Just remember to only do what feels right to you! And please stay safe.
Over the past week, I have been closely looking at my community and the inherent offence that comes with it. Why are people in my community so desperate to prove that they were not a racist before this? Why are they so desperate to prove that they aren't one now? What do they do past posting inspirational quotes? Social media is practically buzzing with defensiveness, faces behind computer screens getting redder and redder, desperate to rid themselves of any guilt by sharing countless slogans, participating in #blackouttuesday, and weeping for the black community.