#BlackLivesMatter, even in pandemic

By Kayla Gayle, Student Life Editor

Even in the midst of a pandemic, black people have fallen victim to discrimination and police brutality.

For the past several weeks, new stories of prejudice against black people have gone viral.

From simple microaggressions to police brutality, the stories have caused even more trauma upon the black community.

Just on May 25, Christian Cooper, an African-American birder, asked Amy Cooper, a nonrelative white woman, to leash her dog.

It is against Central Park’s policy to have unleashed dogs, so he simply requested her to comply with the rules.

However, the encounter turned ugly once Amy announced she would call the police on Christian.

The encounter recorded by Christian shows Amy telling him that she would “tell them there’s an African-American man threatening my life.”

And so, while raising her voice and speaking in hysteria, she does exactly that.

Many people on social media are comparing her actions to those of Carolyn Bryant, the white woman who falsely accused Emmett Till.

Another incident that shows the prejudice against black people, specifically black men in these cases, is the unjust death of George Floyd.

A video, recorded by witness Darnella Frazier, showing Floyd kneed to the ground at his neck by a white officer in Minneapolis on May 26 went viral.

The video is extremely triggering so I suggest, especially to black people, that you are very careful before watching it.

The video starts with Floyd crying out, “I cannot breathe! I cannot breathe! Don’t kill me!” while being forced to lie on the street, already handcuffed.

His words run similar to the last ones of Eric Garner, who was also murdered due to police brutality: “I can’t breathe.”

Throughout the video you can hear bystanders yelling, “He’s not even moving” and “Get off his neck.” One even asked, “Did you kill him?”

By the end of the video, an unconscious Floyd was loaded into an ambulance.

In the press conference held that night, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said “being black in America should not be a death sentence,” yet due to his police department’s actions it was for Floyd.

Both these incidents demonstrate the true horror that black people continue facing in America. They show that even in a pandemic, black lives are valued less than non-blacks.

While we demand justice for Floyd and all others a victim to police brutality and anti-blackness, remember that #BlackLivesMatter.

#RIPGeorgeFloyd #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd


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