“My life and every other black life matters.”
This is every black person’s motto in the United States of America. In the past few months, we’ve seen an increase in deaths among the Black community. Besides COVID-19 disproportionately affecting this community, resulting in many deaths, so has police brutality. Racism is a public health crisis.
The recent killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and now Daunte Wright of Minnesota help reveal the sad truth about how devalued lives of people of color are in the United States. People worldwide are now finally having open discussions about what racism looks like and how it is disproportionately affecting their communities in their day-to-day lives. We are starting to finally hold officers accountable for their actions and speak out against these reoccurring injustices.
Every day, it seems as if another killing or shooting results in the death of another black man. On Sunday, April 11, 2021, 20-year-old Duante Wright was shot and killed after the traffic stop in Minnesota, miles away from where George Floyd was murdered. The shooting was just recently ruled as a homicide, but is claimed to be accidental. Many Black Americans, including me, want to see the officer responsible for this young Black man’s death held accountable.
It is no secret that people continue to suffer daily from the trauma we see, such as the deaths of our brothers and sisters at the hands of the police, the people who take a vow to protect us. Black people are not viewed as humans in this society. This is the reality: Black men are afraid of the police. We are scared that if we get pulled over, our lives will be put at stake, and we can be brutally murdered at any given time, regardless of the environment.
To continuously mourn the loss of a Black life every day is draining. We were put on this earth to be conscientious members of society, not to be eternally oppressed.
Today, and every day: Black Americans such as I will continue to say that our lives matter.
Eugene Bertrand is a student at Eastern Connecticut State University.