The year 2020 has brought it’s share of turbulence to America’s shores. The COVID-19 pandemic brought the world to its knees, engulfing America to the tune of almost 2 million Americans infected with the virus, almost 110, 000 deceased from the virus, and an unemployment rate of around 13 percent.
This should be a time when all Americans should stand together and live up to its name: the United States of America. Sadly, this isn’t the case, as the high profile murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd has driven a further wedge between the American people. Floyd’s murder has galvanized the entire world in protest of Black citizens being unjustly brutalized or killed at the hands of law enforcement.
The peaceful (and not so peaceful) nationwide demonstrations have been well documented. However, the worldwide protests have shown a mass allegiance to Black Americans that has never existed before. The indictment of all four former Minneapolis police department officers (referred to as the MD4) gives some hope that finally there will be no impunity for cops that unjustly kill Black citizens.
2020 is an election year in America. Black Americans should adopt the slogan of former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and compile a collective Black agenda. There may be detractors that maintain elected officials shouldn’t make concessions to only Black Americans, as that would infer prejudice. Black Americans should feel no shame in that. Other demographic groups pool their monetary resources to support candidates of their choice, and they expect those representatives to carry out their agenda. Black Americans should do the same.
The verdicts administered for the impending trials of the MD4 will be critical to what happens next. If they’re all acquitted, America could find herself dealing with more civil unrest in the forms of riots and looting. If they’re all found guilty, and are given maximum sentences, that would be the first step towards America shedding her racist past.
There are a few more hurdles to clear, as Gregory and Travis McMichael are currently on trial in New Brunswick, Georgia accused of murdering Arbery. Meanwhile, the Louisville police officers involved in Taylor’s death have still not been charged. The district attorney in Louisville might want to get started on that. And it’s been duly noted that the feminist groups have been largely silent over Taylor’s death.
Let’s not forget that Black Americans are still entitled to reparations for building America. Those that are against reparations can’t use the poverty excuse for denying Black descendants of slaves appropriate monetary compensation for their ancestors’ enslaved labor. The city of Minneapolis has sustained damage in excess of $55 million, according to CNN. That might be a conservative figure as of press time. That doesn’t even take into consideration the damage other large American cities have sustained. Factor in local and federal municipalities allocating funds for extra law enforcement officers and national guardsmen, and there’s no case that can be made that America can’t allocate funds for reparations.
It may seem selfish to some for Black Americans to insist on reparations now. America is dealing with a pandemic, as well as peaceful protests that have the nation on edge. That shouldn’t matter, as reparations is a debt that will hang over America until she actually pays this debt. That would be the biggest step towards healing an already ailing nation.