We don’t need to let this moment pass us by

Georgia is one of only a few states that did not have a hate crime law until a few days ago. It will become law in the state of Georgia. After what we saw in Minneapolis, people started asking for change. The Georgia bill does that, so that what happened to Mr. Arbery won’t happen to anyone else. And what happened to Breonna Taylor, that won’t happen. And what happened to George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks, that won’t happen either. I understand that people have to get their point across, but I think we need to understand our history and understand our culture all at the same time.

NASCAR banned the confederate flag because of all the protests. I’m glad NASCAR felt compelled to ban the confederate flag from all of their NASCAR events. I think Bubba Wallace has become their PR person on this issue because that’s the only African-American NASCAR driver in the country.

He asked NASCAR to please take it down and I think that is a good first step but I think we are going to see it’s not about just Covid-19 anymore, it’s about people standing up for what is right. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t have conversations, I think it’s necessary with all the stuff that’s going on. But with Mr. Floyd’s death there was global outrage. And if it gets to that level, then something has to change. We need to have compassion for the protestors because without them, none of this would ever get changed. I think it’s good that they’re asking for change, but I don’t think it’s alright to vandalize. Let’s take for example, the Wendy’s that burned down after Rayshard Brooks was killed, let’s not vandalize property. We need to have a conversation with our elders so that the people who are out protesting right now can learn from other people’s mistakes. That way, those protestors, if they have kids, those kids won’t be scared to go outside into their own community.

I do think if we sit down with our elected leaders in Georgia, they can understand your point of view and they can understand my point of view. So I think we need to start by asking our local officials to get their email addresses and email them ourselves. And during this Covid-19, we need to Zoom with them so they can understand our concerns. Or if we can have a phone conversation or a sit down face to face meeting. Yes they are all very different, but I think every black person matters. They want the same as all of us. I think everyone can agree that every case is different. I think it’s important to take that into account when we sit down to talk to our elected officials whenever that time comes or if it comes. I think everyone deserves equal rights. We can’t go back and change how George Floyd or Breonna Taylor or Ahmaud Arbery died. But I think we can all start to make changes to our own views and our own lives.

We have to remember that George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery were just everyday citizens just living their lives. And we also have to remember their family members because they’re going through a difficult time right now losing their loved ones. Two of them were lost to police and one of them was not.

To me, it’s very important to remember how each one of them lived and not how they died. The spotlight is on each family. And so, the families are trying to get their loved ones’ messages across. Some of them might want different things with the same outcome. All they want is peaceful protesting and they want justice. So I imagine that seeing all the looting and not the peaceful protesting makes them even sadder for America. In conclusion, what I want people to take away from reading this article is each family had dreams for their family members.

Jimmy Freels


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