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Silence is not an option

By Laequinla Hunter

This is not blacks against whites, this is everyone against racism.

On May 25, 2020, in Minneapolis Minnesota, we all watched as 46-year-old African-American George Floyd died after Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, kneeled down on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes while he was handcuffed face down into the street. Two other officers restrained Mr. Floyd and the fourth officer stood along the side preventing those around from intervening. The final three minutes Floyd was lifeless with no pulse. Literally, we as a country and around the world watched a man be murdered by the hands of those who took an oath to protect and serve.

For many African-Americans this took us back to the story of Emmett Till, and countless other African-Americans such as Ahmaud Arbery, Sandra Bland, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner and Michael Brown who all were murdered because of the color of their skin.

Emmett Till, a 14-year-old African-American from Chicago, whom in 1955 was beat, shot, then had barbed wire and a 75-pound metal fan placed around his neck and dumped lifeless in the Tallahatchie River after being accused of offending a white woman in her family’s grocery store. The brutality of his murder and the fact that his killers were acquitted drew attention to the long history of violent persecution of African Americans in the United States.

When Till’s mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, came to identify her son she asked the funeral director to let the people see what she had seen. She brought him home to Chicago and had an open casket funeral were people saw the searing images of a murdered 14-year-old child. Thousands upon thousands viewed the remains of young Till. Through media and publications, pictures circulated around the country of this brutal murder forcing the world, whether black or white, to see the brutality of American racism.

Till-Mobley was quoted saying, “Two months ago I had a nice apartment in Chicago. I had a good job, I had a son. When something happened to the Negroes in the South I said, ‘That’s their business, not mine.’ Now I know how wrong I was. The murder of my son has shown me that what happens to any of us, anywhere in the world, had better be the business of us all.”

I would have to be in agreement with Ms. Till Mobley concerning her statement. For many of us African-Americans, silence is no longer an option. Not only for us, but our white Americans are coming to the forefront to stand alongside us and cry out against racism and violence. They too understand, this is just not black business, or white business — this racism business must end.

George Floyd, for the African-American community was a picture of our fathers, our brothers, our sons and our uncles. It could have been anyone of our family members, and although this has been happening for centuries, this time a camera caught it for the entire world to see that there must be a call for justice to end this battle of racism.

Not only do we mourn as an African-American community, but globally we have seen the world take action through protests, awareness and empathy. Many have chosen to use their voice, influence and resources to help bring an end to the mistreatment and injustice of African-Americans.

Yes, we have a long way to go, but we can all agree that the world won’t be silent anymore.

Apostle Laequinla Hunter is a member of God’s Anointed Touch Ministries in Windsor. Contact her at either 242-4151 or gatmbooking@gmail.com.