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PROTESTERS VS PROTESTERS.. BY JACINTA HIGDON
The viral video of George Floyd pleading "HE CAN'T BREATHE", while being suffocated with a knee on his neck for over eight minutes by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has sparked nationwide protest, and riots. The outrage has commanded national coverage of another unarmed black man being suffocated without resisting arrest by those sworn to protect and serve. But the images of looting and rioting has divided the same community affected by hundreds of years of brutality and injustice on what is the appropriate way to resist. Many have chosen to use their social media platforms or take to the streets and protest in unity, while others condemn those burning down their own community. I've seen prominent black figures discouraging rioting and looting being labeled as coons, sell outs, or demand that they be "canceled" without realizing the pain they're feeling of seeing their city up in flames. We must acknowledge there is always more than one way to fight injustice, and demand equality. Choosing a non violent or rebellious approach is reminiscent of whether you stood with a peaceful Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., chose "BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY" like Malcolm X, or bared arms in unison with the Black Panther Party. The divide on which strategic approach will be more effective has a history of creating chaos among those fighting for the same cause, which has always been JUSTICE AND EQUALITY FOR ALL. But let's not be so quick to condemn those who chastise the burning and looting of minority owned businesses, and damage to innocent peoples property. If you want to shut down a major highway, march to your local capitol, register voters, sign a petition for justice, vote out any politician, prosecutor, or attorney general who refuses to aid your community in progress, then I'm all for it. But I won't join forces with an entitled race who traveled to my community to burn down all I've known for a photo op, just to see local historic landmarks and stores replaced with million dollar condos and organic markets. I've sat in the courtroom alone and watched my brother wrongfully convicted of a crime he didn't commit. Cried when I saw my other brother with his eye and lip swollen and tooth missing after an arrest. So just because I won't join opportunist doesn't mean that I don't fear for my son and every other black man and woman every time they encounter a police officer or cross paths with anyone with ill intentions. It just means I'm willing to stand in solidarity with anyone who has an effective approach to change the system. To the new and old generations of protesters who stood in solidarity on the front line and demanded the arrest of officers involved in George Floyd'a murder, and are still fighting for Breonna Taylor, and countless others who deserve justice, THANK YOU. Remember it should always be US VS THEM, RIGHT VS WRONG, NOT PROTESTERS VS PROTESTERS.
Images by April Skye Greene @ painttheskyes.wixsite.com