On May 25th, 2020, George Floyd was murdered by police officers in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Derek Michael Chauvin is the former police officer involved in the killing who knelt on George’s neck for 9 minutes, even after George begged him to remove it, pleading with Chauvin that he couldn’t breathe. George Floyd is just one example of countless instances of police brutality in the United States of America. It wasn’t until a video of the murder went viral that the police officers involved were arrested.
In response to the horrific killing, the countless times police go unaccountable for crimes against Black people, and hundreds of years of systemic racism, protests erupted all over the United States and continue today. I doubt the protests will lose steam soon. People are angry and this was one of many last straws.
As a white person, it is my responsibility to educate myself on these issues, help educate my friends and family around me, stand up to racism when I see it, donate when I can, sign petitions, and listen to and amplify the Black voices around me (and that’s just to name a few). Today, we went to a local protest in Puyallup that started as a one-man protest organized by 19 year old Gabriel Phillips. From there, other members of the community wanted to get involved and now they peacefully protest every day at a designated (and busy) intersection. There is widespread support of the protests throughout the community, but there are many who disagree too. While we were there, many passed in their cars and flipped us off, yelled “blue lives matter” (for information on why that is harmful, click here), or shouted explicit words. Luckily, it never escalated further than that. In other areas of the country, like my hometown of Omaha, NE, police escalated otherwise peaceful protests (according to my friends who went to the protests) ((Update as of June 21, 2020: here is an article that talks about the conflict)).
Here is a small collection of resources regarding the Black Lives Matter Movement. This is not cumulative and you should do your own research too, but hopefully it is a good place to start. Below are pictures of me and my family at the protest but I only included those for documentation purposes as this blog is a journal of sorts. If you happen to see this post, please focus on the resources I have linked below.