This Is America

4 min read

        This may be one of the most disheartening, but crucial posts that I’ve written. For the past few days, there have been riots and protests in dozens of cities across the United States, including my hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. Citizens are outraged by the systematic racism and police brutality that has been taking place against African Americans for the last 400 years.

It's a shame. It's a shame that we have to riot. It's a shame that we fear for our lives, every time we leave our houses. And it's a shame that we have to protest for basic human rights.

#ICANTBREATHE

       The riots began in Minneapolis, Minnesota after George Floyd, an unarmed African American malewas murdered by a Caucasian police officer. George Floyd did not resist arrest, and moments before his final breath he cried out “I can’t breathe”. 

May 31st, 2020. Protests in Atlanta, Georgia. PC: Jaylon Cooper

#BLACKLIVESMATTER

       Honestly, I am tired of seeing #AllLivesMatter. When we use the hashtag BlackLivesMatter, it is not to imply that the lives of other individuals do not matter. It simply means the lives of African Americans are just as important. Although, the government makes it seem as if they are not. 

       I am not here to bash anyone’s form of protesting, whether it be peacefully or rioting. I understand it. African Americans have been peacefully protesting for over 50 years, and there has barely been a change. We, as a community, are tired of racial profiling, being falsely accused, shot, tased, and killed. So, I don’t blame the people who are participating in riots. Whether you chose to protest peacefully, riot, or show your support in a different way, I pray that you stay safe. Be mindful and aware of your surroundings and don’t act impulsively. 

It is sad to see, that during protests about the oppression of African Americans, police officers still racially profile and use excessive force on black Americans.
May 31st, 2020. Protests in Atlanta, Georgia. PC: Jaylon Cooper
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#IRUNWITHMAUD

       Ahmaud Arbery was chased down, attacked, and murdered while jogging in Brunswick, Georgia. I currently reside in Brunswick, Georgia, and to see such hate-driven acts happen miles away from my home does not surprise me. 

May 5th, 2020. Protests in Satilla Shores. PC: Shyann Swanson

The Facts:

  • Ahmaud Arbery was killed on February 23rd, 2020.
  • Gregory and Travis McMichael were arrested on May 7th, 2020.

        For 74 days, the murderers of Ahmaud Arbery walked free. Although arrests have been made, justice has not been served. The only reason the McMichaels were arrested and charged with murder, was because of the leaked video. And, that is where the problem lies. The case was handled by the Waycross Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office. The district attorney reviewed the 9-1-1 calls, the statements, the evidence, and the video of this case and found the McMichael’s actions to be justifiable under a citizen’s arrest. The full details of the case were not originally released to the public. The Glynn County District Attorney’s Office has attempted to cover up the facts of this case since Day 1. This is the reason why I, along with many others, will continue to march the streets of Brunswick, Georgia, protest outside of the courthouse and bring awareness to this situation until justice is served.

May 9th,2020, Ahmaud Arbery Balloon Release. PC: Shyann Swanson
We are tired of being beaten on, chased, gunned down, and suffocated in the country built by our ancestors.
Protests in Atlanta, Georgia. PC: Jaylon Cooper
Jaylon Cooper's Instagram: qualitylenz
Shyann Swanson's Instagram: _shotbyshy

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CLOSES JUNE 12TH

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