By Kris James/Opinion
In February, two white men chased and confronted Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed Black man, while he was jogging. He was killed during the encounter. In March, police officers crashed into the apartment of Breonna Taylor, a Black woman, and shot her multiple times. And in May, three police officers pinned George Floyd, a Black man, to the ground, with one kneeling on his neck until he could not breathe. Floyd died.
First of all, it wasn’t until MAY, 2 months later when the video footage of Ahmaud Arbery being murdered was released. I was wracked by a feeling of intense sadness at the senseless loss of this man’s life. Then outraged, because there were people who thought this was okay. A few weeks later, George Floyd. I couldn’t stomach the sight of watching the last 8 minutes and 46 seconds of another black man losing his life. All I can think to my self is how can you no have empathy for another human life? That is my question.
As a Black gay man, I cannot escape the sense that it doesn’t matter what you’ve achieved, or what you’ve contributed to society, Racism is alive in the south. As a black person, you learn from a very young age that you need to have your wits about you. Children are born without prejudice, but racism is learned. Growing up I realized that no matter how nice or cool I tried to be at school those white kids weren’t inviting you to no birthday party. In my teens, I learned that the color of my skin would get me into trouble for being at the wrong place at the wrong time. My mother made sure I had extra manners, that I was always respectful, and that I wasn’t a problem. She knew that black men don’t get too many chances in this world. My grandma also told me to be good when I left the house. My mom still makes me check in with her. I used to not understand it but I get it now. It’s the thought that one day I might be a name on a shirt.
We have to keep educating ourselves and our friends, or the problem won’t stop. Racism is an ugly southern trait that needs to be thrown out. People of color didn’t create racism, so it’s not only OUR burden but it’s everyone’s burden. I’m not condoning the violence or the harm of police offers. I support free speech, and the rights of people to protest, though I would caution that people make safe arrangements in the light of the pandemic. Racism needs to be called out and we need to do it together.
We can’t make any more excuses. This is 2020. There is a new generation rising and they deserve better. Get to know people from other races. Read books that challenge your preconceptions. Watch documentaries that inform your values. Be curious. And do not turn a blind eye when you come across a racist act, big or small. The time to act is now.
8 thoughts on “According to Kris: It’s Okay to Love Black People”
Wow “choose better characters”. That statement alone shows how much YOU don’t know about the reasons for Protest. Your words CHEAPEN you!
My boy!!!! 💙💙💙 you is definitely a blessing!! Keep pushing, grinding, stay humble and more focus than ever as we get through these trying times!! Keep God first!! Love ya. Kris!!
I love my friend, Kris St James, and I could not be more happy and blessed that God let us cross paths! Your words are heartfelt and real. Love you ❤️❤️
My only complaint with your article is why don’t you choose better characters to protest!! Floyd had a criminal rap sheet as long as your arm! He’s passing counterfeit money, high on phenol, and resisting arrest! He cheapens your argument!
So you’re saying that he needs a better argument to convince you that it’s okay to love black people?
Mishna, by your words, a person’s entire life is contingent on their rap sheet? Regardless of whether or not Mr. Floyd was committing a criminal act, his life has value. Do you disagree? If you did something against the law, would you not want the chance to make up for it? Yes, be punished, but your LIFE should not be taken away.
This is especially true when you are already on the ground and handcuffed. George was not resisting for the 8 minutes and 46 seconds the officer, in an act of pure dominance, kept his knee on his neck. He was begging for his life. He was already restrained. Are you saying he deserved to die because he made poor choices? Did he not deserve the right to a fair trial? Did he not deserve the chance to do better with his life? I cannot fathom what kind of person would say he deserves to die. Anyone else would have been treated humanely, and Mr. Floyd did not get that opportunity merely because an officer wanted to play God.
Americans are supposed to have the right to a fair trial regardless of skin tone. He is not lesser because of that or his rap sheet. He is a human being. But sure, let’s say he should have “picked better characters.” Did he not mention Breonna? Ahmaud? If you want to point fingers, Derek Chauvin’s history of known violence in his position as a police officer was also a mile long. What does that say to his character?
Who decides who gets to live and die because of a crime? Your argument here is invalid. A life is a life no matter who’s it is.
Very informative and personal Kris. Thank you!!
Mishna, I get so doggone tired of your kind of statements I could scream!!! I dont give a hoot if he urinated in the middle of Wall Street, he was MURDERED, COLDBLOODIED!!! WHAT DID HIS RECORD HAD TO DO WITH HOW HE DIED!!! THE OFFICER HAD 17 INFRACTIONS, SHOULD HE STILL BE IN UNIFORM??
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