Updated: Jun 14
It is vital for me as a person of color to discuss the happenings in MN with the incomprehensible death of Mr. George Floyd as well as discuss the riots that are taking place throughout the country.
First, I know many want first-degree murder charges brought against the killer. However, as a person who holds a law degree, I can say we should charge based on the evidence. We don’t want to charge a case that the prosecutor can’t win because there’s not enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt this person committed first-degree murder.
We do not want an acquittal. We want a conviction. With that, I am hopeful the MN prosecutors will do their best to win this case. In law, there aren’t for sure wins. We have seen this through some famous trials such as OJ Simpson. Even with all the evidence against him, he still walked away a free man. Let us hope this won’t be one of those times, but no matter how heinous the crime, we have to follow due process and give everyone a fair trial, because one day (hopefully not, but) you may need to rely on this very fundamental right.
Second, the violent protests must stop. I appreciate among people of color; there are two schools of thought on how to handle the constant injustices to Black people. Some believe it is time to rise and show that we want change through rioting. Then there’s another group that follows the way of Dr. Martin Luther King, jr. Last weekend, I re-read Dr. King’s, “I have a dream speech.” No matter how many times I read this speech, I get shivers, and I feel empowered to move forward through the dark days ahead with “soul force.“
Why is it important to stop the rioting? Two reasons came to me right away. The establishments we are destroying are places people of color or low-income workers use to feed their families. How many people are unemployed because Target was destroyed?Will they rebuild that Target? Or have we lost those jobs in our communities forever? Second, what message are we sending? That we are capable of violence? That we are angry? Absolutely we are! But we can accomplish this through legal means.
I will end this blog with what I think is a relevant excerpt from Dr. King’s speech. Let us root out those who attempt to undo the groundwork laid by Dr. King and other freedom fighters by kicking those who degenerate into physical violence from our peaceful protest.
But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.