Racism is ruining us

Watching the video of George Floyd being murdered in broad daylight, by police officers, made me sick to my stomach.

I cried.

Watching the video of Amy Cooper borderline strangling her dog as she weaponized Christian Cooper’s race during a 911 call that she worked herself into a literal frenzy as a means to blatantly lie to dispatchers because she was asked to put her dog on a leash really pissed me off. She knew exactly what she was doing when she made that fucking phone call. What she was hoping for in making that call? I don’t know. But she knew the moment the words ‘African American Male’ came from her mouth, the law was ‘on her side’ so to speak.

That is white privilege.

That is deeply rooted, systemic racism that exists and is rampant in our society today.

What happened to George Floyd could have very well happened to Christian Cooper all because he was out watching birds and he wanted a woman to put her dog on a leash.

Lately, I find myself getting more and more angry with the human race. We’ve become so accustomed to hearing stories like Ahmaud Arbery being murdered while out for a jog because, and I cannot make this shit up, ‘he looked like a thief’, that people are becoming immune to caring. They’re becoming immune to giving a damn.

Breonna Taylor was an EMT who was shot eight times in her own fucking apartment by police officers. She was at home. At home. Home is supposed to be where you’re supposed to be safe.

So much has happened this year. So much has happened this week alone that it’s becoming so easy for people to just let this information go in one ear and out the other. And it’s easy for people to quickly forget. Because next week, there’ll be another story. There’ll be another Stephon Clark, Botham Jean and Trayvon Martin next week, next month, next…

It sounds fucking awful when I say it, but it’s true.

I’m a Caucasian female who is fully aware of the privileges that the colour of my skin has awarded me in this life. I’m also fucking sick of this culture built around racism. I’m fucking sick of white people teaching white people to fear anyone of a different race. I’m sick of white people teaching white people that anyone who is not a white person is not worthy of basic human decency.

Stephon Clark was not holding a weapon, he was holding a cell phone when he was gunned down by police in his grandmother’s back yard. George Floyd was not resisting arrest, he was not holding a weapon he did nothing to warrant four police officers pinning him to the ground. Trayvon Martin’s crime? There wasn’t one.

I know that people don’t like it when I complain about Donald Trump but I need to add in a point here that the fish stinks from the head. The United States of America has had deeply rooted issues with racism for decades, I am aware of this. But Donald Trump, he emboldens racists. He gives them platforms for which to believe their behaviour is acceptable, just and moral, when it is not.

Last month we watched hundreds of people storm the capitol building of various states across the United States protesting stay at home orders that were established to keep those very people protesting safe and healthy. Did they do it with signs and sit-ins in a peaceful protest? No, the brought their assault rifles and bullet proof armour putting each of their own lives, and the lives of every essential work at risk. Donald Trump touted them as very fine people who wanted to go back to work.

This month people are protesting the murder of a man in broad daylight by a police officer and Donald Trump is touting them as ‘thugs’ and threatening to send in the National Guard. I’m not excusing the behaviour that is going on in Minneapolis right now. I’m not saying that burning buildings is correct. But I am saying that I understand it. And I am saying they’re not thugs. Justice is not on their side. Justice is not on the side of an unarmed black man who was not resisting arrest and just needed the fucking police to not be crushing his wind pipe.

The underlying difference between these two months and the protests ensuing? The demographic of protestors.

Why does being black make you a thug? Why does being black make you become someone that the world should fear? Why are people teaching that the colour of your skin determines your value in this world? And why are there so many fucking people avoiding the subject?

My heart breaks for George Floyd’s family. My heart breaks for the families of Ahmaud Arbery, Botham Jean, Breonna Taylor, Trayvon Martin, Stephon Clark, and every innocent life that has been lost due to deep, systemic racism rooted in a society that values your life based on the colour of your skin.

We shouldn’t be this society. We should be so much better than this. We need to educate one another and instill better values in one another. We cannot continue to tolerate this as a society. No one race is superior to another.

This is unrelated to what’s going on in the United States right now, but there’s been a sharp spike in hate crimes against people of Asian descent here in Canada in recent months. When I say a sharp spike, I mean it’s one of the top stories on the news each and every night. Property vandalized, people bullied, assaulted or worse, racial slurs popping up what feels like everywhere. It’s alarming. It’s alarming because it’s such a slippery slope. We sat at the dinner table tonight and my mom naively said ‘that’ll never happen here because we’re not American’, to which I replied ‘Racism is racism, regardless of the scale to which it’s being executed, and you should be careful what you say because it’s a very slippery slope from someone assaulting a 91 year old Vietnamese man out for a walk around the block, to what the United States is presently dealing with’.

Dinner was abruptly ended.

Am I sorry for what I said to her? No.

Difficult discussions need to be had. People need to realize that sweeping generalizations are crushing our society and sending us into a deeper spiral of racism, vitriol, hatred and violence.

I’m angry at the news lately. I’m angry because of the people causing the news lately. I’m angry that a woman damn well knows that if she works herself into a frenzy on the phone with 911 and uses the term ‘African American Man’ then the law will be on her side.

I’m just angry with it all.

I haven’t wanted to talk about it because I don’t want to argue with people. But at the same time, part of me feels as though discussions are more important than sweeping it aside and waiting for the next occurrence to happen. Because lately, it seems like it’s day by day, sometimes hour by hour, that these things are coming to light.

And I’m so fucking thankful that people are filming these incidents now.

As hard as it is to watch, I think that’s important for our world to see just how bad it’s gotten, just how low we are. I think it’s important for it to be on record, for the footage to be right in front of our eyes.

As much as I know so many people will just let it go in one ear and out the other, I really hope that these types of videos serve as a wake-up call.

91 thoughts on “Racism is ruining us

  1. You’re right that it’s hard to talk about, especially right now. I want to talk about it, I’ve been upset about it all day, angry about it, but I don’t know where to begin yet. I’m appreciative of those who do know where to begin with their words and who are saying something about it. It needs to be talked about. I’m thankful you are talking about it.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. It definitely needs to be talked about more. I’m sorry you’ve been upset. I’m right there with you on being upset. I feel like, as a whole, we need to talk about it more. Everyone needs to talk about racism more often. People wouldn’t feel the need to protest for their lives if their lives weren’t on the line… Not saying things can be solved with words, but being able to talk about it goes a long way. Ya know?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. V, you are exactly right. This post and all the others like it is what we do. The people with sense in our heads and compassion for our fellow sisters and brothers. We must lead the way. It’s our duty as human beings in this society to stand up and say we are angry and that what is going on is wrong because it is. There is a big systematic and ugly problem in this country. It does bleed into other countries and around the world. We are better than this. We must ban together and be the role models for the ones who don’t get it. It is the power of one. What we do to one another affects us all as a society. People are self loathing and lost in their own trauma, living in a cycle of the past that we, the compassionate, insightful and empathetic must rise up together to effect change. I applaud your post. I stand with you because I am tired of the numbness to it all. Violence is eroding the masses. We need real solutions and change. Great share sister❤

    Liked by 4 people

    1. We need to have real conversations, hard conversations, awkward conversations, difficult conversations. We need to practice empathy, kindness… EQUALITY. Equality is so damn important. Sorry, I’m just so passionate about this.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There’s nothing to be sorry about my dear. You’re exactly right. I’m half of an interracial couple and I have a unique perspective on this too because I have witnessed up close and personal racial prejudice and backlash. Honestly, something occured just yesterday for my partner that sickened me.
        I like to always believe the good in people av, you know that I’m sure by now about me. There’s a big shift that needs to take place and it starts with communication. 100%❤❤❤

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Sometimes it feels like there’s nothing we can add.
      But I’m trying to remind myself that even the smallest of gestures can mean a lot.
      Thank you for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I can’t even watch the video, it breaks my heart to even think about the injustice, the blatant disregard for human life, the rampant racism among the police in both the US and Canada (Halifax is pretty bad), it all angers me so much. I am a Caucasian female as well and am also fully aware of the privileges that the colour of my skin has awarded me in this life also. I agree with you wholeheartedly and thank you for saying it. We are all human. We all deserve decency and respect no matter the colour of our skin, where we come from, or what our sexual orientation is or what our religion is. It has to do with who we are as a person not anything else. This needs to stop. The racism needs to stop. The prejudice and discrimination need to stop. The murders and violence need to stop.

    Kadie ♥ The Great Canadian Housewife | A Story About A Girl

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I didn’t watch the video, but reading about it pissed me off. And like you, I cried a bit. Well written post. I’m quite sick of this bullshit. It’s disgusting. Racism is repugnant and this feels like a tipping point, many people are enraged. I think another civil war is coming and I hate to say it, but maybe it needs to happen. Assuming, anyway, that Good wins again. These days it’s hard to say if that would happen. Especially with the orange freak in office.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I was talking to a friend of mine last night about how I felt like a civil war was coming and they laughed it off. I’m with you though, I genuinely think it’s coming. And what’s sad is, it won’t be a surprise if it does…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, it may happen – and obviously it won’t look quite the same as America’s first civil war what with battlefields and cannons, but I can see a huge surge in isolated incidents of extreme violence, enough to categorize it as a civil war. Gangs of “insurgents”, if you will, on both sides. I very much hope we are wrong. Perhaps it will continue to remain an ideological war through technology “hearts and minds” kind of thing. But in the other hand it seems like at some point it will boil over because that sort of push pull can only go on so long before something erupts. I believe many people think that our current internet-connected futuristic society will protect us from the possibility of an actual war, and I think they are wrong. I really don’t think any society of the past, actually, really believed they could go to war because it’s so very dramatic…and our day to day lives in peacetime are so monotonous that it’s difficult to believe that such a dramatic shift can erupt. Yet it had happened time and time again. Honestly I am glad to see all the protests and the amount of white people at these protests. That’s the one point of hope for me. We had a protest in Olympia and it was peaceful.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I looked up at the TV while the video was being played, and immediately had to look away. I felt my own heart crush under the weight of that officer’s knee. I became physically ill. I have always been the shoulder and the comforter…
    I’m not going anywhere with this comment. These aren’t hollow words, but they serve no purpose other than to put them outside of myself in response to an important and well-expressed post. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. It means a lot that you would stop and share how you feel about what is such an important and divisive subject. I saw that a coroners report said that George Floyd died of hypertension and underlying medical issues and I nearly lost my mind. People feel hopeless, and rightfully so. When a man can be murdered in broad daylight and government services are saying otherwise… it’s a hard pill to swallow…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. It doesn’t matter where the racism or violence is coming from or is directed to, it’s unhealthy, bad and destructive. We ought to get along and respect each other. How can you take another person’s life simply because they are of a different skin color or culture??
    Lord!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No.

      As a whole, from a continental perspective, citizens of a country within North America are ‘North American’. Much like citizens of South American countries are ‘South American’.

      American, as a title on it’s own, is the denotation for those who are citizens of the United States.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. This is a topic that needs to be done something about. Rascism has gone too far, and it already did in the 1800’s. I don’t know why we didn’t learn something from it. crazy.. And I’m so sorry for George, and all the other people who has been harrased because of their “race”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My grandfather (born in 1918) told me horrible stories when I was a kid of what racism was like through WW2 and thereafter. I think he’d be absolutely horrified if he were still around today to see what the world has turned into…

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I might suggest that a review of history shows us hatred is not a “white thing” but a human thing…Jews hated Christians and Christians hated Jews…all white, no race involved…still hate…genocide in Rwanda was between blacks of different tribal backgrounds…Aztecs enslaved non Aztec natives and butchered them…Muslims of different sects kill each other. Hatred is so much bigger than “evil white” narrative dominating our press. Hatred is wrong and evil and deadly no matter who the race of the perpetrator

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You’re right, and I do apologize for making it sound like it’s a one sided thing. I guess, from my perspective, I speak from what I’ve experienced and what I’ve seen. In that, though, I did overlook the very real fact that it happens a lot more than with what I’ve experienced/seen an that it happens with all races and all people. I apologize about my poor choice of descriptions and thank you for reminding me of the very important perspective you’ve presented.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There is definitely an issue as you point out in our country….I see it more in the older generation at work for example….ie we are all so used to working with people literally from around the world we don’t think twice about it, but some of the older residents can be very discriminatory. Also, there are definitely real issues with white against black, black versus Hispanic, etc in our country. I appreciate your article and do think it needs talked about, racism and arbitrary hate is shameful, and it does need to stop, thanks for calling it out!!!

        Liked by 2 people

  9. V, for me all of these protests brings back a memory of Detroit, Michigan.
    I am old enough to remember looking across the river at Detroit seeing smoke rising. I also remember the border was closed.
    Like you I hate racism. I truly do not know the answer of how we get rid of this vile thing.
    I can no longer watch the video of that cop that put his knee on George’s neck.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve heard some stories about Detroit. I’ve also heard that to this day, it’s one of the worst cities for racism in the world. I just can’t imagine what it would be like to grow up in a world like that. My life seems so sheltered compared.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. I’m mad too. I want to grab people by the collar and shake them so hard their teeth rattle. And I have felt this way for a very long time. That is the sad thing. That nothing has changed in my lifetime where people talk about being so “evolved”. My foot. Evolved. The human race is destroying itself and I think covid was sent, one way or another to help reduce our numbers. People should not underestimate Nature.
    Racism, while we see it here as black/white is far more complex. What black people do to other black people is horrendous, and whites to white, asian to asian. How many millions of refugees are there now around the planet? You are right, kids are taught to be wary of anyone who is different. We should rejoice that there are differences, should share our errors and our victories and make planet Earth a good place to be. But it won’t happen until the numbers are vastly….vastly reduced. I can’t tell you how I cringe when I see pregnant women, especially when they are dragging a couple of other children with them. I can’t personally think of a single reason for bringing a child into this world. And I always felt that way, even when I was young. But I am a pessimist. Perhaps there is still hope. When I see people like yourself get mad, that encourages me. Thank you.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I hear a lot of people these days rethinking having children due to the present state of the world. While I can’t say one way or another what the right decision is for you, I can say that if you did have children, they’d be damn lucky to have you. And, given the conversations you and I have had, you’ve got a very level head on your shoulders that would teach kids incredible life lessons of equality, consciousness and respect for our world. And one of the ways we can make change is by teaching it. TO each other, to our friends, to our family, to our kids… to whomever needs to hear it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. it has been burning for so long. Have you read Becoming by Michelle Obama. I never knew the States is still in such a bad way. It is like some have never come out of the slavery mentality. it makes me feel so sick that human beings can do to other human beings and think it okay.

        Liked by 2 people

  11. Thank you for writing this and for speaking out with your family. We all need to be doing more to make sure this racist bullshit ends. Talking openly about it is an important first step.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Absolutely. Being willing to have conversations, even if they’re uncomfortable, serve as a reminder to hold each other accountable. Better an uncomfortable conversation than targeted violence towards people of a certain race.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. V I massively admire your integrity! And the fact that dinner was ended early, that your mum took those comments as a criticism, illustrates a big part of the problem.

    Every post or occurrence I see, of somebody acting with integrity and with values which are in the best interests of everybody, as with you and your post, encourages me.

    I’m really glad you wrote about this so frankly 💙. You are out of place within your family environment— you feel things more and you refuse to let yourself become numb to these things.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My family and I disagree on 99.9% of things in this life. But, I do believe there’s always room to grow. My dad can teach me how to change the oil in my car, my mom can teach me how to stretch my budget, etc.., etc… and I can teach them all that their political, socio-economic and religious beliefs are a little outdated.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, you said it well :). It was just extra-impressive that you do it even though you know it will probably lead to a stressful situation with your mum (because of her not having the same outlook of self-reflection/improvement). My parents are genuinely a lost cause.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. I also watched the full version of that video, and I also felt what you described here. It stunned me into silence, caused me a ton of pain. And I would never regret watching it either. Only by allowing yourself to see those things you can understand the depth of the problem.

    I’ve watched it twice, actually. And it really disturbed me how reluctant the policeman who murdered George was, to get off him. Blocking even the medics from helping initially. And then they acted very slowly. It was all so bizarre and looked as if it was choreographed, because of how bizarre it was.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It was very bizarre. And I don’t say that to lessen the sincerity of it. I just, it’s hard for me to grasp that a human being can do that to someone. But it happens. Horrible things happen. And it’s kind of a blatant reminder of what human beings are capable of now that it’s all able to be recorded on cell phones.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I totally agree, I find that hard to understand too. I mean, I find it hard to understand why people use their car horns to express frustration so much, as if it will change anything after the fact. Just as an example.

        It’s the feeling of complicitness of the medics that adds yet another level of dystopia.

        Like

    1. I definitely think that’s why it started. As I see this two days after your leaving it, now, it’s… definitely morphed into a whole different beast.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I can only hope that the way people are coming together is used as a means to make considerable change in the future. Representation is needed. We can’t just continue to have governments with old-white men and the one token woman and the one token person of colour to meet diversity requirements…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I agree. I do definitely feel like it has to be a turning point. It has Obama’s endorsement!

        Also, as I was watching the protests earlier, I was thinking that the longer and more widespread the protests go on— the more cost there will be to the police and the state any time police violence happens again. If they can set a precedent of 10-20 days of rioting per police death. well. maybe it’ll help them to think twice. And I know a lot went unrecorded before, but I feel like nobody’s going to take the bullshit anymore about the non-seen incidents.

        Like

  14. America called itself oldest democracy and developed country, but things are saying something else. Racism is present in America for a long time. Donald Trump just uncovered and multiplied it. Same is happening in India. Hatred is increasing day by day in India especially because of followers of the ruling govt. Who says against or criticize govt has been declared Anti-national? Sometimes I feel that India is moving from democracy to fascism.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. India isn’t a country that makes the news a ton around here, so I do apologize that I am not very informed. Is it getting bad there? Facism is a scary thought…

      Like

  15. The second Trump got in office, which was shocking in itself, the thumbs up to overt racism began here. I actually expected a civil war, it’s war on the streets right now (I’m close to Oakland). If this brings some kind of change (& gets him out of office), so be it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really do hope that all of this destruction does bring some sort of change. Mainly because, if it doesn’t bring change that’s a whole lot of hurt, violence and destruction for absolutely nothing. And… that’s depressing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It will 🙂 That first night I was downtown when the looters came in, waiting for a burger. There were no protest signs, it was exclusively to cause damage in my town. Last night was peaceful protest. Something is going on organizing the looting on social media. Today a twitter post said our office location was on fire. I went by and nothing, not sure what’s going on with social media and why a fake post about our office burning? With the curfews (which don’t matter to me because I’m home by 5p anyway) that’ll help. It certainly needs to be protested!!

        Like

  16. I’m disappointed with where we are right now. I’d like to make a joke and shoo it away like I usually try to do and keep an optimistic opinion of the world. But it’s getting harder. I thought about saying that it starts with us, with everyone, but I don’t even know where it starts, and I don’t know what to do about it.

    I know you don’t like Trump. I’m not a fan either; personally, I like he’s a bigot and a dick. I don’t really know what to say about him, but this isn’t his fault. Not entirely, not even mostly. It’s people, and people aren’t always… great. But you’re free to disagree with me on that.

    Mostly I’m just sad. I’m sad that these last few months have further divided humanity. I’m sad that we need to cast blame around. I’m sad for the families that lost loved ones, the people that lost friends. I’m sad that we still separate people by the color of their skin, or their gender, creed, or identity. I’m sad that you’re angry.

    This whole time has just been depressing and awful. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t blame Trump. At least not for everything. Racism existed long before he took office and long before he made his name in real estate in the 90s. Racism has been an issue for along time. What I do blame Trump for is emboldening racists. For giving them a platform for which to believe their actions are correct. For promoting that Caucasian protesters are mighty fine people and that African American protesters are thugs. People can say it’s just twitter, but I beg to differ. Twitter seems to be the only place he speaks his honest thoughts. The rest of the time he has people around to censor him…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And you’re right. TBH I don’t pay attention to what he has to say. Like, at all. I haven’t been looking the news at all for the past few months because it’s either all depressing, or people bickering and shaming others or assessing blame. So I’m not sure what he’s been doing lately, though I bet it’s terrible.

        Liked by 1 person

  17. You took every word I wanted to say and put it into a blog. I’m tired, I’m heartbroken and I don’t know how to help. I want to DO SOMETHING but I don’t even know what or how I could help. Yes it’s good that people filmed it but could anyone have maybe shoved the officer off him? I don’t know.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. See, here’s the thing, I don’t blame citizens for not intersecting with police officers. I blame the other three police officers who were on him but weren’t on his neck. But the idea of intersecting a police officer violently suffocating a black man on the street in broad daylight could come with a lot of ramifications

      – The officers pinning you down and doing the same to you
      – Being shot by the officers
      – Being charged with assault of police officers
      – Making it worse for the man being pinned, because the officers would get angry that someone was trying to interject.

      I don’t know. I have so many thoughts, I just don’t know that anyone could have stepped in and done anything that would have fixed it in that moment. Those police officers were going to do what they were going to do and no one was going to stop them.

      Like

  18. As long as humans are given authority over other humans we will have this problem. Because humans lie and hate and have grudges and prejudices – but give them a badge and a gun and they suddenly wield their flawed power on someone else. Robots are the only law enforcement that will work unfortunately because they are programmed to carry out the law and only the law. I don’t want to deal with a robot though either. Lots of problems and no solutions nor leadership on this issue

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agreed with everything you said until you got to robots.
      Robots would be programmed by humans. Thus I think robots would also be inherently flawed in providing justice…

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Didn’t think of that…surely they would have to be programmed according to the law only and not have all the other crap and history and upbringings etc put it into the system…then again statistics are skewed so why not.. damn! More thinking.

        Like

  19. being black living in the west makes me feel a way, even being a Christian and wanting to serve the people of God makes me feel even more bitter with how we treat each other. racism is not all between blacks and white, its among each other in different level. watch out how we are racist in different ways. it hurts.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. “I haven’t wanted to talk about it because I don’t want to argue with people.”- thank you for being honest and talking about it anyway.

    Like

  21. Thanks for writing this post and well done for speaking up to your mom. I’ve noticed people like to name racism in other parts of the world but not acknowledge it close to home. I’m angry too. And sad, tired, hopeful all at once…

    Like

  22. Thank you for this. It really is sickening. I didn’t watch the George Floyd video but i watched another of something similar happening to a 10 year old boy just because he was black. They even put a plastic bag on his head and tied it when he said he couldn’t breathe cz 2 women police were sitting on him. I still don’t know if he lived or died but they threatened the guy filming and yelling at them (a mexican) that they would arrest him. It makes me so angry. I mean are we supposed to call the police on the police?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my God I saw that video where they put the plastic bag over the boys heads and I wanted to step in and fight for the kid. What the eff does a cop get from suffocating a child? That whole video was fucked up. But there’s so many fucked up videos coming to light lately.

      Like

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