The Day After: The Downfall of a Desensitized America

Mamie Till, mother of Emmett Till, mourning over the open casket of her unjustly slain only son.

 

Last night before I went to bed, I watched the video of George Floyd, with his face mercilessly plastered against the concrete with a knee embedded into his neck. I watched as he yelped in pain and beckoned for his mother. I watched a video of Amy Cooper, blatantly lying to  authorities about being threatened by a Black man. I googled Emmett Till and read the newspaper with his beaten, bruised, and bloated body skewed across the front page. I pondered these images before I turned over and fell asleep. I woke up and went to work this morning like any other day. I bought coffee, scrolled through social media and news headlines seeing that George Floyd was no longer at the top of trending news.

The reality of it is harsh, life goes on. I question if its dismissive to not continuously verbalize and actionize my disdain or if I am protecting my psyche from the traumatic experience of reliving these horrific moments. Have we become used to seeing the images of slain Black bodies in the forefront of media? This cannot be our new normal, because it is not new, and we cannot accept it as normal. Somewhere we must individually find the balance between protest and protection; to maintain our beliefs without bending under the weight of anger and grief.

Life is precious. Life is a gift. Life is deserving of our gentleness, of love, and most importantly it is deserving of our sensitivity. We must not lose our compassion because of commonality of the lack thereof. The continuity of activism and empathy is what further instills the value of Black lives in a world that has often been proven to be unempathetic. I fear that the more we ingest these images our hearts turn cold as the lifeless bodies we scroll across; we lose our faith and our spark for hope. This is unacceptable. Do not just scroll, find your avenue to support your cause that aligns with your beliefs. I urge us to stay sensitive, to our needs, to our respect for life, and the need for change despite the insensitivity of this world.

 

 

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