Last month we introduced one of our newest trainees at Hopeworks, Blake Banks. Since then, so much has been happening in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder, events that effect Blake and his community deeply. While struggling to stay focused on his own goals, Blake shared his feelings about racial justice and to the police response to the protests.
The most frustrating aspect of the murder of George Floyd for me, and I feel as though it is for many other people, is the fact that he and hundreds of others murdered at the hands of police, have little chance of getting the justice that they deserve. The police, since the inception of this problem, have been handling it horribly and they expect civilians to handle it better than they do when they're professionally trained for these situations. They're putting us between a rock and a hard place. How are we, who feel targeted and with no professional training, expected to keep our cool at a time like this? How are we expected to handle these situations with more care and responsibility than the people who are paid to protect us. It's unfair and not right.
What I feel needs to happen for things to continue peacefully is for total reform and an overhaul of the entire system. There are far too many policies that are protecting police and allowing these injustices to continue. We shouldn't have to march, riot, yell, scream, and loot for the smallest action of justice to be carried out. We shouldn't have to struggle and fight for hundreds of years for basic human rights that everyone should be given. The only way for justice to be achieved in a corrupted and broken system is to call for a complete overhaul and reform of the system. The American penal system has been organized almost from its inception to stigmatize people of color and minorities and we're tired of it and we want change.
It's important to be angry because it can drive you, but it's also important to keep your anger in check because a fire not controlled can burn everything to ash. I'm keeping myself attentive but also distracting myself with things I love when being angry is just too much.