"History has its Eyes on You"
Oh 2020. You've sure thrown the world for a loop.
We started with the wildfires in Austrailia that devastated their country.
Then China closed because of a contagious virus.
That virus then spread across the globe!
We all experienced some level of quarantine/stay at home orders.
Then on May 25th we watched as a Black man named George Floyd was murdered by 4 white police officers in the street while one pressed his knee into George's neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds while he was handcuffed and laying on the ground.
That was the straw that broke us. Smoldering embers of rebellion were now fanned into giant burning flames of anger and frustration. George's death triggered all of us. It was an act of complete racism and cruelty and justice needs to be served. George's murderers have been charged and while that's good, there are countless others who's murderers have gone free just because they are white and "feared for their life". Or any number of excuses. Breonna Taylor was shot in her home by cops under a wrong address for a warrant AND the person they were looking for had alreay been apprehended HOURS before - her murderers are still free.
Since all of this started I have had Hamilton's "History Has Its Eyes on You" song stuck on repeat in my head. This song is George Washington talking to Alexander Hamilton right before the Battle of Yorktown in the Revolutionary War but it's struck me to the core since the first time I heard it:
"I was younger than you are now
When I was given my first command
I led my men straight into a massacre
I witnessed their deaths firsthand
I made every mistake
And felt the shame rise in me
And even now I lie awake
Knowing history has its eyes on me (whoa)
History has its eyes on me
Let me tell you what I wish I'd known
When I was young and dreamed of glory
You have no control
Who lives, who dies, who tells your story
I know that we can win
I know that greatness lies in you
But remember from here on in
History has its eyes on you
History has its eyes on you"
While I know I'm not a general in an army, I was "given my first command" when I had my babies. THEY are my first little batallion. "I've made every mistake" - even though I'm not overtly racist, there are things in my life and culture that ARE and I'm working to dismantle them. This is not going to be a quick fix or even an easy one. History has its eyes on us, how will we be remembered in the books??
Now, I can already hear y'all saying "one bad cop doesn't represent the whole!!!" Guys, I know that. I have family that were/are in criminal justice and law enforcement. I know they personally would never let something happen like that. Unfortunately those bad apples are literally spoiling the barrel that shouldn't even be able to BE spoiled! Our justice system is broken. You watch any crime TV you'll know this. Some of the loops people have to jump through for supposed justice are just insane. Some make sense but you would think those would be in place to begin with, but they're not because of who and how the system was set up by.
Our Founding Fathers wrote the Declaration and Constitution to be different than a monarchy but it still only really helped white men who owned land. It did not include women and it most certainly did not include Black people or POC in any way. When slavery was finally abolished after the Civil War (which was fought because of slavery, no matter what history books say, it was a HUGE factor) Black people STILL weren't treated the same.
The Civil Rights Movement that happened in the 60s, Martin Luther King Jr led protests that were peaceful this is true. However you are fogetting that they also endured KKK attacks and defended themselves when needed and were considered rioters for it. And when Dr King was SHOT, shot for being peaceful and wanting change, the protests and riots that followed are what made the government finally enact the Civil Rights Act of 1964. But that was still after 7 days of complete chaos because they refused to listen to the peaceful pleas and protests.
Even now, there is racism rampant in our country. We have a President that is overtly racist and a horrible human being. Our healthcare system is rigged and POC are dying at a faster rate from COVID19 than white people. Even whn not in a pandemic, there have been studies about black mothers dying from childbirth or complications from childbirth at a hugely higher rate than white mothers. Criminals that commit the same crime but are different races have different sentences. Whenever a white person does something heinous, they look to see who's fault it is for "triggering them into violence". Whereas when it's a black person it's always where they're from and the gang presence or drug presence in that neighborhood that's talked about. As if they are less than worth it because of where they're from. The media especially tries to humanize the white ones and dehumanize the Black or POC ones - even the innocent ones.
I could go on, because there is so much more, but I want to also bring to the frontlines that our Indigenous brothers and sisters are also being targeted and they deserve changes made to help their lands stay sacred and reparations for our Manifest Destiny crap! That's a whole other post and I will write it because it's been on my heart for years, but I was too scared to write it. Any post like this, I was scared to write because I don't want my words used incorrectly or against me but in the end, I keep thinking about the legacy I'll leave behind for my children and how I change my little part of the world I'm in charge of. I don't want them thinking that I stood by and just watched in horror as these things happen in my country. I've done enough of that without realizing it's harm. I want to make a change. So let's start the conversation.
Donate. Sign petitions. Protest if you can. Demand justice from the authorities. Write and call your reps in Congress. VOTE. This year is crucial to our willingness to continue the change we want to see!
My husband and I read an article the other day that said something to this effect - we are the generation that was told that if we did everything right, we will succeed. And if we want change, to demand it of our leaders by voting them in and then telling them what we want fixed. Well, we've done that and are being ignored. Can you blame us for being upset at the system we were told would work for us?? We are angry and we will change the world. "Just you wait!"
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