My condolences go out to the family of George Floyd and to all the families of the unarmed Black people killed recently for absolutely no reason.
These all too common events are despicable, sad, and absolutely crushing for myself and my community. My heart goes out to every Black brother and sister in America who lives in a consistent state of fear and anxiety for the crime of being black.
These abhorrent injustices have gone on for too long.
What Happened This Time
On May 25th, 2020 George Floyd was murdered by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
The whole world saw this murder on video. The world also saw that not one but three officers were on Floyd’s back while he was handcuffed. In what world does it take three grown men to hold down one handcuffed man on his stomach with a knee in his neck?
Even while being filmed on video, Chauvin did not let Floyd out of that heinous, knee on the neck maneuver. Even when Floyd said “I can’t breathe” Chauvin did not let up. And even after Floyd stopped responding and was already dead, Chauvin still did not let him up.
This murder was unwarranted, unethical, and unjust.
This incident reminded Black people in America of the atrocious murder of Eric Garner in 2014. Another Black man being hemmed up by a police officer and saying “I can’t breathe” while he was dying in a choke hold.
There is no reason at all for Floyd to be gone right now. He should be spending this day with his family. Instead, he is another unarmed Black brother killed by a man who should not have been a cop.
What Else Happened
Amy Cooper tried to put on a bogus, academy award-winning performance to teach Christian Cooper a lesson. But she failed miserably.
Christian Cooper was bird watching in Central Park, NY. The part of Central Park where he was bird watching requires people to leash their dog.
Amy Cooper had her dog in the area and did not have the dog on the leash. Christian Cooper asked her to leash her dog while in the area. Amy Cooper did not want to leash her dog and definitely did not want a Black man telling her what to do. So, she threatened to call the cops.
Once she called the cops, she put on that fake hustle hysterical act, and said that an “African-American” man was threatening her.
Could you imagine if Christian Cooper did not have his cell phone recording this event? Could you imagine if the cops showed up and saw a Black man and also saw a “hysterical” crying White woman?
How do you think that scenario ends? Is Christian Cooper brutally beaten down to a pulp like Rodney King was? Or do the cops do him even worse and murder him how they did George Floyd?
It’s Not The First Time
Emmett Till faced the same bogus scenario in 1955. He was accused by Carolyn Bryant Dunham of whistling at her.
Carolyn Bryant Dunham told one of the most heinous and horrific lies in history. Her blatant fabrication of the truth cost Till his life.
She got to live her whole life while Till was brutally tortured and murdered because of her lie. Unsurprisingly, the actual murderers of Till, Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam were found not guilty by an all-white jury.
They later publicly admitted to murdering Till based on Carolyn Bryant Dunham’s lie. Till’s death was barbaric. His mother, Mamie Till Mobley had an open casket funeral to display the horrendous nature of his death to the entire world.
His untimely death served as a catalyst for the civil rights movement.
CNN reporter Omar Jimenez was arrested on live television for the “heinous” crime of…reporting. He is Black and Latino and was arrested for the “nefarious” crime of…reporting.
At that same time Jimenez was arrested, Chauvin had not been arrested or charged with anything yet. One Black man in America is arrested for reporting the news and one White man was free even though he just murdered a Black man on camera. Even a blind man can see what is happening here as these actions says everything.
Many people think racism is just somebody hating someone because of their skin tone. But it’s much deeper than that.
Racism is a system designed to oppress. There were slave codes and Jim Crow laws in America that kept black people down in the gutter for generations.
I’ve even heard that the system is broken but in reality it’s not. The system is running exactly how it was supposed to run when it was designed. If I take two people of equal sprinting speed and line one person up at the starting line and line the other person up at the 50-meter line, who wins that 100m dash race?
Remember it was once law that Black people were considered property, couldn’t vote, and had no rights in America. We were called apes, jigaboos, coons, mammy, and niggers. Dogs had more say in America than a Black person.
Over the last few years we have seen this story play out with unarmed, innocent black people being killed.
We saw it with Trayvon Martin.
We saw it with Tamir Rice.
We saw it with Philando Castille.
We saw it with Atatiana Jefferson.
We saw it with Botham Jean.
We saw it with Breonna Taylor.
We saw it with Ahmaud Arbery.
We almost saw it go south with Travis Miller.
I could go on and on with more names. The point is that we have seen this appalling movie too many times.
One Of My Experiences
Many Black people have had an uncomfortable experience with the cops. I definitely have.
The one that sticks out in my mind was in the summer of 2015. The George Floyd murder brought that moment back to the forefront of my mind.
My brother was getting married and was having his bachelor weekend in South Carolina. Myself, my main man Flip, and some of my brothers friends all made the drive to South Carolina.
As we were in South Carolina, I noticed a state trooper trailing us. It’s sad that the first thought in my brain was, “Oh he’s going to pull us over.”
The speed limit was 70 mph. I was in the right lane and only going 68 mph in cruise control. I thought playing it super safe would give us a chance to avoid being pulled over. I was wrong.
The state trooper pulled up right next to us and looked into the vehicle multiple times before eventually pulling us over. I was the one driving, so he told me to get out of the car. He then did the whole aggressive pat down dance on me.
He then told me to come stand by his car and lean into his car through the passenger window. Now I’m not a fearful man. But at this point I thought I would be a dead Black brother on CNN later that night.
It was blazing hot outside and I’m leaning into his car while he asks me 21 questions about why I was driving in South Carolina. I’ve got no record, no convictions, and no history of being anything except a citizen who betters himself and the people of the world through health, fitness, and hope.
After about 10 minutes of interrogation, two other police cruisers showed up. The dead black brother on CNN thought became even more real at this point.
The officers in the cruisers got out and stood right outside their cars with their hands close to their hips. After about 5 more minutes of questioning the lead officer says “Ok, you’re good. But be careful driving down here in South Carolina.”
The only law I broke that day was being a Black man driving a nice car in America.
What Are The Answers?
There are three areas where more progress has to be made in order for this country to improve.
1) The Education System
I was taught in school that George Washington never told a lie and was the hero of the Revolutionary War. But I was not taught that he was a slavemaster who owned slaves.
I was taught in school that Thomas Jefferson was the great man who authored the declaration of independence.
But I was not taught that even though he said “all men are created equal” he was also a slave owner. And I was definitely not taught that he had a “relationship” (what a farce) with a young Sally Hemming and fathered multiple children by her.
I was taught in school that Christopher Columbus first “discovered” America. But I was not taught that people already discovered and lived in the Americas long before Columbus was even born. Nor was I taught he was a murderer and tyrant.
I was never taught in school about Nat Turner, or Black inventors, the 1921 fire-bombing of Black Wall Street, Malcolm X, or the real Martin Luther King Jr. until I was an adult and did the research.
Why was none of that important information about Black people and our history in America in my high school or college textbooks? Because the victors make the rules.
Giving the people the truth about American History instead of the distorted version I was taught will certainly open the eyes of the people. All those doctored textbooks need to be thrown into the fire.
Will voting good people in and bad people out help?
There are many wolves in sheep’s clothing that are in positions of power. When these people are in power, they control what happens in the country. More importantly, they make the laws.
There are many crooked, racist politicians in office. And during these current times of racial injustice and civil unrest there is currently no leadership, empathy, or plan of action coming from The White House.
Being more informed about the candidates you vote for and getting people in office who actually care would be significantly better than what’s currently going on. And if you are in a position of power and have the ability to create positive changes but you don’t then you are just as bad as the corrupt folks.
3) Background Checks And Accountability For Police Officers
Police officers are supposed to protect and uphold the law. And most police officers in the United States do their job as it should be done.
But if despicable people keep slipping through the cracks and becoming cops, these tragic situations will continue to happen.
Background checks have got to be more thorough because too many bad, hateful, racist people are slinking through those cracks and becoming police officers. And some police officers abuse the power they have to the highest levels when dealing with Black people.
When are these specific police officers going to be held accountable?
Lawmakers must create laws to hold law enforcement accountable for killing unarmed Black people. If somebody knows they will get away with something, what motive do they have to stop?
The police officers who killed Sean Bell were not held accountable. They walked away not guilty.
The police officer who murdered Philando Castille was not held accountable. He walked away not guilty.
Even though he was not a cop, George Zimmerman was not held accountable for murdering Trayvonn Martin. He walked away scot-free and is able to live his life.
When these types of people keep getting into positions of power, a culture of brutality is created. When that brutality is consistent and at times deadly, the trust that should exist between Black people and law enforcement becomes incredibly fractured.
That lack of trust is one the reasons why so many Black people are uncomfortable around cops. That trust that should exist has been erased like a lot of our beautiful Black history here in America.
Change has to come, but it requires action.
Truthfully educating the population, voting in the right people, and establishing accountability for police officers will go a long way in changing the culture of this country.
Slavery is the original sin of America. America was built on the backs of black people. We have come a long way since the 1600s but it is beyond obvious that we still have a long way to go.
I was born and raised as a Black man in America. I am culturally American. I want America to succeed, but these divisions in our country based on the color of someone’s skin have always been unfair, unjust, and completely ridiculous.
Rest in peace to all my Black brothers and sisters who have fallen victim to these vicious and fatal assaults.
I’ll holla at you next time.
The People’s Trainer,