Current State of Mind stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter protestors and the families of those victimized by instances of police brutality. The entirety of Current State of Mind was built from the mind of an African American man just as this country was built from African American slaves.
We need to realize that change isn’t really change if things go back to the way that they used to be in the future. What we need now more than ever, is genuine change and progression so that African Americans can have a better future where we don’t have to walk the streets in fear for our lives whenever we see a cop. This is NOT a war of Whites vs Blacks. This is not a war of Democrats vs Republicans. It is a war against racism, specifically institutionalized racism that has been embedded within the police force tracing back to its establishment in 1838. We’re all humans that are exposing and challenging the injustices in our society. We do this so that our future generations can experience a life that is better than our current situation. What we need, is to unite against racism and abolish it completely from our society. It’s evident that clearly some people think abolishing slavery was enough. And sadly, some think that we shouldn’t have even gone that far. Do not be ignorant and keep that antiquated mindset because then YOU become the issue that we’re fighting to resolve.
Now I want to speak about the “ACAB” controversy because there are various strong opinions on the matter. To clarify, this acronym means All Cops Are Bad/Bastards which people give their own interpretation on the meaning. Based on the information that I’ve seen, ACAB can be interpreted as all cops are bad not because of who they are as a person but because they forfeit their morality and empathy for a system that values order and “justice”. Not all cops are morally bad because I believe there are some who join the force because they genuinely want to help change the system for the better and do their job without stirring up trouble. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t people who are drawn to the position strictly because of the power and authority it holds. This explains why there are numerous instances of cops who are explicitly racist and decide that their job duty entails being judge, jury, and executioner. But do not judge the many by the actions of the few. Instead judge the system for failing to “protect and serve” like it has claimed to do for the public. The system was never created with minorities, especially African Americans in mind, therefore it has been operating in almost the same fashion ever since the 1800s.
The course of action I believe we should take begins with a major police reform so that we can enact the necessary laws to hold officers accountable who abuse the position and protect those whistleblowers who risk their lives and their job by speaking up about the corruption in the system. We need to retrain these officers so they know how to act in instances where a child has a toy gun, police enter the wrong house, someone uses a counterfeit $20, someone is walking by a convenience store, and most of all, when they encounter a person with a minority background who is clearly unarmed. The police shouldn’t be allowed to run freely, killing whoever they deem “looks suspicious” only to get a slap on their wrist and a paid vacation while the families are stuck grieving for the rest of their lives. A life can’t be brought back. This proves the need for the police to be policed. Just like how we have a checks and balance system for our government we need one for the police and “vigilantes” so instances like George Zimmerman, Darren Wilson, and countless others don’t get to walk away unpunished. In order to promote general welfare, the police force should be defunded and have those funds be redistributed to black communities so we can build them up. As a country, we spend so much money on national security that all other sectors face budget cuts which is why we have struggling communities, lack of opportunities, and lack of education.
But this is only the beginning of a complex solution to an outdated problem. The goal of the Black Lives Matter is equal treatment and true justice through nonviolent protests. We do not associate with the rioters, anarchists, or looters. They are only taking advantage of the protests and using them as cover for their own secret agenda. The issue with rioting and looting is that it tarnishes not only the Black Lives Matter movement, but it reinforces the negative African American stereotypes that were imposed on us in the beginning. We should continue to distance ourselves from that and prove our doubters wrong so that we may move forward together and no longer be chained to the past.
Just because you are against rioting and looting doesn’t mean you can’t be against racism. Join in the nonviolent protests and prove the media wrong. The media claims to shed light on all the violence and looting and defend it by saying that’s the more important thing to cover. But we need to show them otherwise. The media needs to be more unbiased and showcase the good parts such as the actual nonviolent protests occurring and highlight the different races coming together to end this persistent issue that prevents America from being truly great.
While I don’t condone violence and retaliation against the police, can you really blame them? This has been going on for far too long and yet when football star, Colin Kaepernick started the peaceful protest of kneeling during the national anthem, it became a widespread controversy that was chastised for “disrespecting the patriots who fought for our freedom”. But what about the patriots who fought solely for our freedom? I believe it is within our right to freely protest how we choose. The oppressor shouldn’t be the one to tell the oppressed how we should/shouldn’t protest. Our voices need to be heard now more than ever. It’s evident that the President of the United States isn’t on our side (or ever was to begin with) so the power is bestowed to the true American citizens that join together and fight for a better future. We can no longer let this system kneel on our necks just as they kneeled on George Floyd’s and countless others.
I appreciate all my White and non-black POC friends who have reached out to me and asked for ways that they can help out. The first step is by educating yourself so you can spread the word and make your voices heard. Acknowledge your white privilege and use it to protect those who don’t have it. And please, if you are ever in the presence of racism whether it be friends or family, do not be afraid to call them out on it and help them shed that mindset. You are not born a racist, it is something that is taught. Most importantly don’t stop there. Don’t call out racism in public just to keep your reputation. How you act in private shows your true character. When you’re in the comfort of your friends, it’s easy to say what you know you can get away with. But in order to truly change we must call out racism even in those private moments to prove that you are anti-racist. Understand that you’ll never fully understand what we go through, but don’t let that discourage you from helping us fight for our human rights. Learn from us, to be exposed to different perspectives and allow that to open your mind to the bigger world out there and stand in solidarity with us.
So I ask that the main takeaway, is to fight not for change today but for change tomorrow as well so we’re guaranteed a just future. The offenders being arrested for the murders of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery are only short term solutions for a long term issue. Don’t let the flame die out there but keep protesting because we still have a long way to go.
RIP to my fellow African American brothers and sisters. You are gone but never forgotten. #SayTheirName #BlackLivesMatter