For a moment, the top news story is not about the number of dead from COVID 19. For the moment, the headlines are about the death/murder of George Floyd, a black man, at the hands of a white police officer. For the moment, they are about the outrage and frustration as people take to the street in response.
The killing of George Floyd, and what seems like an attempt to cover up the cause of his death, has brought the devastating impact of racism front and centre. If there was ever any doubt that racism is alive and well, it can no longer be denied. We need everyone on the frontlines of this fight – racism has gone viral.
The pandemic brought into focus some of the disparities faced by marginalized and racialized groups. Recent events have driven that message home and are forcing us to listen. Amidst a pandemic, thousands of people are marching in solidarity and support of George Floyd, his family and for all those affected by anti-black racism.
The rallies and marches give me hope, but we cannot get complacent. Every day we bear witness to the devastating effects of systemic and institutional racism. Every day we see the viral videos of racism in action. This is the time for each and every one of us to stand up and shout that it must end!
It’s not enough to simply be not a racist. If we are to create real and lasting change for racial equality, we must be actively anti-racist.