There Is No Video
“What If There Were No George Floyd Video?” That’s the title of Nicholas Kristof’s opinion piece in The New York Times on June 6, 2020.
- “There is no video to show that a black boy born today in Washington, D.C., Missouri, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi or a number of other states has a shorter life expectancy than a boy born in Bangladesh or India.” Nor is there a video to show that a black woman is two and a half times as likely to die in pregnancy as a white woman.
- “There’s no video to show that black children still are often systematically shunted to second-rate schools and futures, just as they were in the Jim Crow era. About 15 percent of black or Hispanic students attend so-called apartheid schools that are less than 1 percent white.”
- “There’s no video to show that blacks are dying from the coronavirus at more than twice the rate of whites, or that a result of the recent mass layoffs is that, as of last month, fewer than half of African-American adults now have a job.”
Without a video these statistics are just that, cold statistics. Yet “they represent a kind of invisible, structural racism and violence that perpetuates inequality.”
How much longer are we willing to turn our heads to this reality, inequality?
I can’t suggest one single small step that can change this invisible racism. But what if we each committed to remembering these statistics and the people they represent as vividly as we recall the video of George Floyd’s murder on the streets of Minneapolis?
- Would that motivate us to make even a small donation to one of the myriad of organizations that are fighting this racism?
- Would it impact how we vote in November?
- Would it motivate us to speak up when someone utters a racial slur?
- Would it motivate us to show up for change?
- Or, maybe even listen to this On Being podcast interview with Resmaa Menakem by Krista Tippett. https://onbeing.org/programs/resmaa-menakem-notice-the-rage-notice-the-silence/