The 2020 Rebellion – George Floyd’s death will not be in vain.
‘No Justice, No Peace’

As George uttered his last words ‘Mama, they are going to kill me. Please Sir, I can’t breathe’, I imagined Jesus kneeling beside him whispering to him ‘George today you shall be with me in paradise’. They murdered Jesus in broad daylight, they gave him vinegar when he asked for water, they refused George water too. George Floyd mattered and his death should not be in vain.

Not even a global pandemic ceased racism in America against African Americans. Every couple of days another sister, another brother, murdered (Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery), by those sworn to protect and serve. And now adding to the flames of anguish and hysteria, protesters and activists are being brutally beaten and some have died.

In the last week have seen the spirit of the Ancestors shaking up Minneapolis and every corner of the world. ‘Spirit, can you hear it calling, watch the heaven open’ as the song goes. I could hear the echoes of Malcolm, Martin, Harriet, Marcus and all our Ancestors who were freedom fighters, edging us to keep on keeping on. The Spirit is rising up in black, brown and white people against oppression, modern-day slavery and racism, saying enough is enough. Today we understand the brutality of systemic and institutional racism that has plagued America and all over the world and demand change now. People are waking up to the understanding that there is no freedom without liberation.

Remember there were no reparations for enslaved Africans in America, Europe and across the diaspora. Our Ancestors began their new life with nothing, stripped of their culture and their dignity, whilst European slave owners were paid handsomely for the loss of ‘their’ slaves. Their descendants still benefiting from the system of white privilege. Slavery was not abolished because enslavers had a change of heart, it was abolished because it was no longer economically viable. Years after the abolition of the Transatlantic slave trade, numerous laws were put in place to further oppress Black people, from segregation to ghetto living to police brutality. Yes there is such a thing as post-traumatic slave syndrome. People of African descent were never given the opportunity to heal from generational trauma and abuse. Nor were they fully compensated for building empires for free. Now is the time to put the plans for reparations back on the table, as we watch this uprising unfold.

‘They’re going to kill me. Mama, I can’t breathe’.

George Floyd’s last words hung breathlessly in the warm Minneapolis air, with a knee pressing mercilessly on his neck by an evil police officer, whilst two more officers lay on his spine, crushing the rest of his body. George Floyd was handcuffed, face pressed against the asphalt, pleading for his life. And there, one officer stood on the look out, to stop the pleading onlookers, trying to oppose and stop this lynching in broad daylight. The Officers showed no mercy, so the justice system needs to change and no mercy shown in charging them to the full extent of the law. Millions have taken to the streets all over the world. Innocent peace makers and protesters are being beaten and some killed. Those sworn to protect and serve instigating looting and destruction of property, to blame the angered and hurting rebellion. People have risen up and taken to the streets for justice. ‘Now is the time to put an end to this beast called racism’, I can hear Harriet Tubman humming in my head.

Now is the time for every creed and race to say no to racism and the unjust and unfair systems of oppression. We the people have spoken.

#Nojusticenopeace #blacklivesmatter, #justiceforgeorgefloyd

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Patricia Lashley-Charles – Author & Poet