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