“Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” Genesis 2:7
I’ve been struggling for a while trying to decide if I should share this post or not. I want to have a voice in this world through my writing, so after a lot of thinking I realize that part of having that voice is expressing things that not everyone is going to like or agree with, but that still need to be expressed.
So here goes…
I’m having a really difficult time trying to release Tuesday May 26, 2020 from my mind and I am not so sure if that’s a good or bad thing. On the afternoon of Tuesday May 26, I found myself scrolling through my Instagram timeline, just as I do most days, but on that day I stopped to view a video, a video that I am certain everyone who viewed it will never forget its contents. You see, Tuesday May 26, 2020 was the day that I watched the video of George Floyd’s callous murder. At the time I didn’t have the emotional strength to watch the entire video, but while watching the small portion that I did my one and only thought was “WHY?”.
Later on in that week as I sat watching the whole video of George Floyd’s heartbreaking death, it took my thoughts back to an experience I had as a little girl. In the late 80s or early 90s, I don’t remember the exact year, I was visiting my grandparents and other relatives in my family’s hometown, probably during summer vacation. One day my older cousin and I were in the downtown area with our aunt, the three of us and some other African American people were walking out of whatever store we had been shopping in, when some young Caucasian girls traveling down Main Street in a convertible suddenly started shouting “porch monkeys” “porch monkeys” as they rode down the street. I don’t remember exactly how old I was, I believe that I was elementary school aged, regardless of what my age was at the time I can remember the experience very vividly, as though it happened recently.
I am by no means comparing my experience with the modern day lynching that was George Floyd’s callous murder. My experience was not at all a violent one and I am alive to tell others about it. At the time of this experience I didn’t know what a porch monkey was and I probably didn’t know anything about what racism really is, because I was just a little girl who probably did not have many cares at the time. Later on in life, as I grew and got a little older I learned that the term “porch monkey” was used in reference to a lazy black person, in my opinion it’s just a bit of a “nicer” way of calling a black person the N-word.
I believe that watching the video of George Floyd’s final few minutes on this side of life took me back to my “porch monkey” experience for a reason. I believe that it triggered thoughts of that specific experience to remind me that for centuries there have been people in this world who have always thought of black & brown people as simply porch monkeys and many far more derogatory names, solely based upon the color of our skin. The deep melanin in our skin, the race that we were born into which God chose to make us has caused others to feel that we “colored people “ are in some way inferior to them. As a 38 year old who is paying much more attention to what’s happening in this world than that little girl who was frightened after being called a porch monkey on Main Street, it is very infuriating to be reminded that there are people in this world who don’t know me and my heart, but have hatred in their hearts towards me simply because I am a black person.
I bet those four police officers thought of George Floyd and every other African American victim of police involved murders as just porch monkeys; lazy black people. They didn’t think of George Floyd and the multitude of other black & brown police shooting victims as someone worthy of life, but as someone adding no value to society, to this world. I believe that due to the efforts of numerous protesters & activists since George Floyd’s death, there have been a few positive changes in the racism war that has been going on for centuries in this country, but I’m pessimistically not so sure that the war will ever be won, because racism is deep rooted in the hearts and minds of those who exhibit it.
That’s just my perspective!💜
What do you all think? Is it realistic to think that we will truly overcome and all forms of racism will no longer exist some day in the future leading us all to live equally?