Hi, I’m Jaidynne. The past few weeks have been emotionally draining since the death of George Floyd. Movements have sparked everywhere even in countries overseas and there has been overwhelming support. But I was shocked to see some of my closest friends, people who I have grown up with to be dead silent or even worse, ignorant and arrogant when it came to these social injustices.
Growing up in Arizona I was always the token black friend and the only people of color I knew was my own family. My white friends and I never had a conflict with race, and we never had any conversations because we were so young. Now I am 19, and as we grow up I’m starting to see where they truly stand, and what they think about me and my people. One friend of mine decided to post a video of himself sagging his pants, holding his crotch, and idiotically firing a gun in the middle of nowhere yelling “GET THE FUCK OUTTA HERE”. He was impersonating a “thug” and thought that right now, in the middle of Black Lives Matter protests would be the best time to showcase that to everyone on Instagram. Another one of my friends had no issues with the murders and police brutality, but had every issue with how we responded to our oppressors.
She would refer to the looting and rioting of large corporations(i.e. Target), saying it was unjust and “love” is the answer; as if police who murder innocent men and women, who run around gasing and spraying peaceful protestors, and run their vehicles into crowds isnt just as “unjust”. If we should fight with love, shouldn’t law enforcement as well? Where is the love we see from them? How can you avoid a gunshot with “love”? How can you avoid racial profiling? Tasers? Handcuffs? Pepper Spray? Batons? And DEATH with… love? This is a war we are fighting in America. It’s HISTORY. And when has love ever ceased a war? Slaves were not freed because they loved and obeyed their masters… they REBELLED.
They fought for their lives regardless of the cost, so why can’t we do the same? For me it’s so insulting when my white friends, whose ancestors slaughtered people wherever they set foot, created genocide of Native Americans, enslaved, skinned, lynched, boiled, beat, and burned African Americans, to tell me the appropriate way to fight the injustice that THEY create. So where do I draw the line? Do I continue to inform my friends? Do I cut them off? It is never a straight forward answer, but I am thankful for these experiences that have shown me some of their true colors.
By Jaidynne Lyke