Reflecting on the Need for Black Lives Matter Protests

9 Jul 2020

@souleubanks profile image
souleubanks

black lives matter protest

Many people are beginning to wake up to the harsh reality that America has catered to a certain segment of its society and that privilege has come at the expense of Black Americans. Sadly, systemic killings of Black people, discriminatory drug laws, and the hyper criminalization of Black people have become a common part of the Black American experience. Seeing George Floyd defenseless and begging for his life has burned a hole in so many of our psyches but for many Black people in America, George Floyd’s murder was another reminder of the long list of lives that’ve been stolen from our legacy.

As our society is starting to feel a sliver of the frustration and outrage that Black people in America have felt for a long time, I'm reminded of the first time I felt this pain. In 1999 I was a 17-year-old teenager when the murder of 23-year-old Guinean immigrant Amadou Diallo ripped my tender spirit. Amadou Diallo was living in New York and shortly after midnight, in the stairway entrance of his residence, he was confronted by four plain-clothes police officers. As Amadou reached for his wallet, the officers fired a total of 41 shots at him with 19 of the 41 bullets hitting Diallo’s defenseless body. His last breath painfully crossed his lips and his lifeless body collapsed in agony crashing to the ground.

protester with no justice no peace sign

Diallo was only a few years older than me at the time and I couldn’t accept how his life was taken so carelessly by those meant to serve and protect our society. I was angry, hurt, frustrated, bitter, and so much more, all at once, and for so long these emotions shaped how I viewed American society. Amadou’s murder gained some national attention and brought forth minor policy changes to the NYPD but within a year all four officers were acquitted of second-degree murder. This acquittal was just another exclamation mark on my psyche to the reality that the taking of Black life in America didn’t impact American society nearly as much as it impacted Black America.

In my lifetime Amadou became the first of far too many Black men and women who would die at the hands of racially motivated violence. Over the next couple of decades, more Amadous emerged, Sean Bell, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Breonna Taylor, and the list keeps growing as I write this. Sadly I know there will be many more George Floyds in my lifetime because racism, like many forms of discrimination, is a disease we've yet learned to defeat.

Anti police brutality protest

Recently I organized a silent protest against police brutality and was surprised at how therapeutic it wasn't only for me but for all who attended. We had powerful interactions with the public. One of the most gripping moments was when a father took a picture of his 6-year-old daughter standing with us and this moment brought many of us to tears. Before they walked away he told his daughter that one day when she graduates from college she will thank him for taking this picture. I hope that when that young Black girl becomes an adult, our society would've evolved away from its hateful habits. I hope one day she can show her own 6-year-old daughter that same picture and can tell her it’s from a time long ago when racism and discrimination used to be commonplace in society.

Resources to know more about the Black Lives Matter Movement

Authors Aph and Syl Ko write about racism is their thought-provoking book, Aphro-ism: Essays on Pop Culture, Feminism, and Black Veganism from Two Sisters book. The essays deal with issues that we are dealing with today, from Racism, Animal Justice, and Feminism.

Ava DuVernay's documentary 13th, deals with the subject of racial inequality and the incarceration of African-Americans in great detail. It delves into the history and politics of racism. The documentary takes a deeper look at why the Black Lives Matter movement, isn't only necessary, it has been a long time coming.

abillionveg stands with Black Lives Matter, and we now have the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) as a partner. So, each time you review 10 vegan dishes/products, you can choose to donate to ACLU and show your support. Your donations will be a part of ACLU's efforts to end police brutality, defend the right to protest, and demand racial justice.

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@hownowbrownkow profile image
hownowbrownkow2 YEARS AGO
Thank you for sharing your powerful and touching story 🖤 We'll work twice as hard to make the world safer and more loving for that young Black girl ✌️
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@souleubanks profile image
souleubanks2 YEARS AGO
@hownowbrownkow absolutely, it's going to take all of us to accomplish it 😊
REPLY
@gwenna profile image
gwenna2 YEARS AGO
Excellent article! Thank you for sharing a piece of your life with us.
REPLY
@souleubanks profile image
souleubanks2 YEARS AGO
@gwenna thank you soo much for reading 🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿
REPLY
@simhazel profile image
simhazel2 YEARS AGO
❤️
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@souleubanks profile image
souleubanks2 YEARS AGO
@simhazel 🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿
REPLY
@donzepan profile image
donzepan2 YEARS AGO
This is a nice article. I would just like to say that the Black community prefers "Black people" to "Blacks". Other than that, I appreciate the article. There needs to be more intersectionality between the vegan community and Black community.
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@souleubanks profile image
souleubanks2 YEARS AGO
@donzepan thanks for that insight 🙏🏿
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@vikas profile image
vikas2 YEARS AGO
@donzepan agree 👍🏽
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@donzepan profile image
donzepan2 YEARS AGO
@souleubanks ooh, clarification. Specifically when talking to an audience that includes white or nonblack people. Because they subconsciously pick up on the phrasing and may use it themselves. You can use it whenever. I meant when explaining things to nonblack people. Was sleepy when i commented, sorry if I wasn't clear. Great article!!
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@souleubanks profile image
souleubanks2 YEARS AGO
@donzepan I know exactly what you mean, i understood 🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿
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@souleubanks profile image
souleubanks2 YEARS AGO
@donzepan thanks again for the perspective, i've updated the wording based on your input 🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿
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@vikas profile image
vikas2 YEARS AGO
Great article Soul thank you 🙏🏽
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@souleubanks profile image
souleubanks2 YEARS AGO
@vikas thanks so much 🙌🏿🙌🏿🙌🏿
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@mamabike profile image
mamabike2 YEARS AGO
Thank you for sharing this story ❤️🙏
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@souleubanks profile image
souleubanks2 YEARS AGO
@mamabike it was truly an honor to share it.
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@mariaubergine profile image
mariaubergine2 YEARS AGO
Thank you for the heartfelt article!
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@souleubanks profile image
souleubanks2 YEARS AGO
@mariaubergine Thank you sooo much 🙌🏿🙌🏿🙌🏿
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@ajdorse profile image
ajdorse2 YEARS AGO
❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
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@souleubanks profile image
souleubanks2 YEARS AGO
@ajdorse thank you 🙌🏿🙌🏿🙌🏿
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@mathias1724 profile image
mathias17242 YEARS AGO
😘😘😘😘
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