Opinion: The racism pandemic

Columnist Marissa Stubbs. Photo courtesy Stubbs

Even in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, black people still face a never-ending battle — racism.

On May 25, George Floyd, an unarmed black man, was taken down by a white Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin.

Floyd was handcuffed and placed face down on the road as Chauvin knelt on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, causing Floyd to become unresponsive and die.

Eight minutes and 46 seconds was the amount of time used to senselessly take another black person’s life.

Floyds last words were mama” and “I cant breathe.”

I cant breathe” was heard painfully not so long ago. In 2014 Eric Gardner once said he couldnt breathe when a New York City policeman had him in a chokehold. America didnt hear us then and they still dont hear us now.

Police brutality and the oppression of black people has been a part of American society from before this country was founded.

The land of the free” was never free for minorities.

Over the years and generations, pain has built up and many black people are now taking action to say enough is enough.

Following the death of Floyd, people all across the world were sickened when Chauvin wasnt immediately charged with murder.

Protesters in Minneapolis took matters into their own hands and began raiding the streets in exasperation.

The protesters were so outraged they set a Minneapolis Police station on fire, causing the building to slowly burn down.

Several other buildings and stores have been demolished and looted by protesters following Floyds death.

America may be in disarray right now, but there is only one question all black people want to know: When will our skin color not be seen as a threat? When will our presence stop making others uncomfortable? When will we be regarded as equals?

So many questions to ask, with very few answers.

America fails to seek a change when it comes to the mistreatment of people of color.

In early March, the world wondered if we would beat the coronavirus. The real question is, can we beat racism, a virus ever bit as lethal as COVID-19?

The lives of Ahmaud Arbery, Sandra Bland, Eric Gardner, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin and many more will never go unnoticed.

If 2020 hasnt taught this country anything, it reminded Americans that 400 years later, racism is the biggest pandemic we will ever face.

Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder. However, no charge or jail time will be enough to bring back the life of slain black people.