Seven years ago, on July 13, 2013, the verdict of not guilty was read for the murder of Trayvon Martin and it made me question if I wanted to have children anymore. I feared bringing children into the world and being unable to protect them from all of the hate and racism, so why willingly subject them to it? Since that night seven years ago many more black lives have been cut short and their murderers have walked free sending a message that our lives don’t matter and that hate and racism are okay.
The unwarranted, racist murders of black men and women have become so common that many of us seem to be used to it, even numb to it. The quarantine for the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic forced people to pause and face humanity and the fact that people like myself are consistently treated as less than. I believe that these unusual circumstances made the response to the murder of George Floyd so significant. If people weren’t already so frustrated from the quarantine would they have been as angered by this tragedy that many of us had become almost numb to? If there was no quarantine would people have taken the time away from their busy lives to protest and demand changes be made all across the United States? I’m not sure that the outrage would have been so great if it weren’t for the COVID-19 pandemic, so dare I say that I am grateful?
Grateful? Yes, grateful. Grateful that as a result of the Coronavirus Quarantine the world was home, frustrated, watching, listening and available to react to George Floyd’s murder. I may never know if people would have responded in such a way if there was no pandemic, but I am grateful because the changes being made give me a little hope. I have a little hope that my son won’t have to deal with so much hate and racism as he grows and ventures out on his own. I hope and pray that maybe, just maybe, the outrage over the murder of George Floyd will lead to a brighter outlook for myself, my black son, my black husband, my black dad, my black mother, my black brother, my black nephew, my black nieces, my black grandfather, my black uncles, my black aunts, my black cousins, my black godson, my black goddaughters, my black friends, and every other black king or queen connected to me. As the world attempts to return to a state normalcy I pray that we don’t allow ourselves to become numb again but that we continue to watch and listen and ultimately continue to take action to make sure that necessary changes are made to protect black lives.