I have to admit, for nearly two months I have been skeptical about the lack of reporting on black lives beyond stories about the disproportionate impact COVID-19 is having on black communities. In deep thought and during conversations with others, I have posed questions about the oddity of not hearing about black people being brutalized or killed in racially motivated attacks.
Not to my surprise, a number of my questions were answered last week when the news of an unarmed black man being killed gained national attention.
On February 23, 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery’s life was stolen in Georgia by two white vigilantes who pursued, shot, and killed him after accusing him of a number of home invasions in the Brunswick community in Georgia.
More than two months after he was slain, a message was sent to black people as America opens its doors after months of being closed: be safe. While that’s something most black people know, the question I have is, once America opens its doors again, will black people be welcomed?
An interesting piece by NBC dives deeper into a number of my thoughts and provides insight given by experts.
Last week, during a gathering in Brownsville, residents were met with calamity once they stepped foot outdoors, while non-black New Yorkers hanging out in city parks were given protective essentials and greeted by NYPD.
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And this is not the only incident that has made headlines. Suspended NYPD officer Francisco Garcia, was caught on camera assaulting a 33-year-old black man during a social distancing stop—which sounds like the COVID-19 era’s version of stop-and-frisk.
Since joining the force in 2012, Garcia has cost the city $200,000 in lawsuits. And prior to COVID-19, black people were already being marginalized.
Arbery’s name is now added to a long list of men, women, and non-gender conforming individuals who have been brutalized and killed. And it’s hard to think about what new norms and opposition black people will face when shelter-in-place mandates are lifted nationwide.
The ideas and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author’s and not necessarily the opinion of Black Enterprise.