Since the horrifying and inhumane death of George Floyd a little over a week ago, it has caused a tremendous amount of pain, outrage, and sadness across the United States and around the world. While there has been peaceful protesting to bring more awareness to the underlying issue of inequality, there has also been an escalation of destruction that has struck major American cities in the form of looting, arson, and acts of violence–mainly directed towards the police although it has also impacted innocent bystanders. I recognize that not all the riots and protests are in direct correlation with the death of George Floyd; however, it is clear that his death has stirred many intense feelings due to the common theme of injustice without consequences more often than not towards the African American community. The truth of the matter is, racism still very much exists in this country yet no one wants to talk about it. It may be an uncomfortable subject matter for many people so often times it is an afterthought or consequently ignored altogether. Now more than ever before, I think it is necessary that people speak up and take the time to have these open discussions. We as people and as a society need to empathize with the lives that are wrongfully taken away and bring awareness to the problems we are facing. We need solutions because staying silent is not the answer as silence is a form of indifference and no real change can come from that. I am not in support of violence or acts of terror but I understand where it is coming from. People are finding ways to react by rebelling and many are left at their breaking points because this has happened way too many times now. Just a few months prior, we had the death of Ahmaud Arbery which also left me outraged and heartbroken. It does not matter what the color of your skin is to know the difference between what is right and what is wrong. I do not have to be an African American to feel the pain that they feel. I might never fully be able to understand what it feels like to be discriminated against on a daily basis or have to fear my life is on the line when confronted by a police officer but I do recognize that this is not acceptable and it should no longer be tolerated.
While many preach “black lives matter,” I think the better message should be, “ALL lives matter.” We do not need to keep continuing to divide ourselves based on race and other factors to set us apart from one another. We are all human beings, so I firmly believe that all lives matter and that should be the mantra we preach together as one.