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  • erinschrode

The Rights of Humanity

"What we're trying to do is stand up for the basic rights of humanity… and we’re trying to do it in a peaceful way. We do not want to go through this any more, okay? I want to be able to go into white neighborhoods and feel safe. I want to be able, when a cop is driving behind me, I don't have to clench and be tense, okay? I want to be able just to be free and not have to think about every step I take. Because at the end of the day, being black is a crime. At the end of the day, being born black is a crime to them. And I don't understand why. Because we're all humans and that's sickness.”

The 24-year-old Liberian-born protester on the ground in Minneapolis spoke some of the most powerful, succinct truths that I have heard shared in real time tonight — live on CNN to Miguel Marquez. Thank you to a free press for elevating stories of the REAL struggle for justice, the black people fighting for their lives, the protesters (*not* rioters) channeling their compounding hurt and justified rage in the streets — even amid a global pandemic — because racism, police and systemic oppression are killing black Americans (George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and too many names we will never know), threatening humanity, and eroding the very fabric of this nation and world for ALL of us of all races, ages, genders and political affiliations.

I listened to this man's words, as he went on (in another clip, which is on my Twitter), and recommit to my work as an ally. "We are not gonna die. We gonna fight. Because our generation is sick and tired, okay? We want change and we demand it right now… Step up! You have a duty as a human to step up and fight for every neighbor and every person around the world — or they will try to silence us. And we will never be silenced. This generation is here to stay.” #BlackLivesMatter


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