I watched the police brutality against George Floyd in horror, angry that this happened yet again. The ensuing protests and calls for reform indicate that the whole country is angry and has had enough. Of all the images I’ve seen as a result of #BlackLivesMatter protests, this one was the most impactful:
I think this little girl’s sign is the best way to explain #BlackLivesMatter to the #AllLivesMattter folks.
Photo via Sarah Smith-Wills pic.twitter.com/w9OLRBPiWE
— Charlie Wollborg (@CharlieCurve) June 4, 2020
This picture was a great help to me in understanding that yes, all lives do matter, and #BlackLivesMatter doesn’t mean they don’t. But right now I need to understand that black lives are in more danger than other racial groups in the US.
I still believe that the majority of police are good, caring people who want to make a positive difference in their community. But like other occupations with access to and control over vulnerable populations, policing is also a magnet for the worst among us.
Why does racism appear to be growing? I believe it’s because social media outlets legitimize and amplify the racist mindset. I don’t know how to fix that. I don’t have personal Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram accounts, and I use those services only for APE Games business and staying informed on the gaming industry. I know that my lack of presence on social media doesn’t help combat the dark forces that ARE there.
So what can I do? I believe the most important thing for me is to stay involved in the political process at all levels. It is not at all a stretch to say that 2020 will be the most important election year in my lifetime (and I’ve been voting since 1982)! In 2018 I worked call banks for the US Senate campaign in Texas. While my candidate ultimately lost, the race was unexpectedly close in a red state like Texas. Decisions on policies that affect things like law enforcement are made at the local, county and state levels. I vow to educate myself about the policies of the candidates running in my districts and get out there to vote! Like 2018, I will also join another campaign. I encourage you to as well.
Sadly, there will always be a hateful underbelly in our country. What really bothers me is that there are millions of people out there that are 100% behind the systemic racism and stupidity they’ve seen over the last several years. And it will take all of us together to get out to the polls. Let’s use the 2020 election to show them that contrary to their social media echo chamber, most of America does not think racism is okay.