Being Black Shouldn’t Be a Death Sentence: A Black Woman's Message to America by Ash Benton

Opinion
3 months ago
Being Black Shouldn’t Be a Death Sentence: A Black Woman's Message to America

“Racism is not getting worse, it’s getting filmed.”  Will Smith 

This week has been really tough on America, on my family, myself (being a wife of a wonderful police officer) and on our youth. I’ve been trying to bring myself to write about it, but haven’t been able to put into words my heart’s wrenching feelings. I'm going to try.

Let me start by saying my deepest prayers go out to the family and friends of George Floyd, “The Gentle Giant.” What happened to George Floyd was horrific. What has happened to all of our black/brown people is unbearable. This has been going on for hundreds of years, but now it's happening in real time for the whole world to see.

We will never be the same! We will always have this knife digging into our hearts and that picture of George Floyd in our minds. Hearing him screaming his last wishes, for his mama and begging for breath. For breath, I say. “I can’t breathe, please officer I cannot breathe.” Let that sit with you for a moment.

That will be a continued sound in our ears. 

To our youth: I’m here pleading with you to use your energy in a positive way until we can get some laws changed. Tearing up cities where you have to live will not bring back George and the so many others that have died by the hands of racism. I understand the anger, I understand the frustration and I feel that same pain every day. But not all officers arekillers. Let’s protest peacefully.

As a community leader, the things that I am seeing in the city that I reside in, and coast to coast, while we are living through a pandemic, is agonizing. I love my people, I love all people and I want help for all. But there’s no satisfaction in seeing people hurt and locked up because we have some bad apples in leadership. 

Remember to #MakeTodayCount. That’s been my motto for years and it has even more meaning now!

Take 30 seconds and join the 30Seconds community. Inspire and be inspired.

The Racism Virus: Questions for White People to Ask Ourselves

NU Medill Dean Charles Whitaker Speaks Out in Support of Medill Alum & CNN Reporter Omar Jimenez

How to Teach Kids About Social Justice: Parents, Here's an Easy Place to Start

Racism Is Real: As a White Mom of 2 Black Children, 3 White Children, Who All Have a White Dad, I Have Something to Say...

Elisa A. Schmitz 30Seconds
Thank you so much for sharing this, Ash Benton . Your words have so much impact and we are honored to amplify your message during these heartbreaking times. Thank you for making a difference. Things need to change and they need to change NOW. Black Lives Matter. You are right that we need to make change, and we need to make today count! #GeorgeFloyd
Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead
Ash Benton : Thank you. Your words are very meaningful and I hope they will reach many. I support you. Black Lives Matter.
Cassiday
I’m so sorry. I hope things get better.
Tribe
Thank you for sharing what's in your heart. I hear you.

join discussion

Please login to comment.

recommended tips

Systemic Racism in America: Why Showing Up for Black Lives Matters

Face Mask Giveaway: Tell Us How You Encourage the Use of Face Masks in Your Family/Community & You Could Win an Adult & Child Face Mask From SwaddleDesigns!

Raising African American Children: Why Black Kids Deserve Carefree Upbringings, Too

The Face Mask Debate: 7 Questions for People Who Oppose Wearing a Face Mask During the Coronavirus Pandemic to Think About

Got 30 seconds? Sign up for 30Seconds.com and get the best of our tips each week!