It is 10:30pm on a Tuesday evening, and I am taking a break from studying cryptography to write down a few thoughts in light of everything that has been unfolding in my country. I don’t want to make this a long, drawn out post, but to express my excruciating pain as a Black American and my individual response not only to the killing of George Floyd, but the systemic disfranchisement of Blacks throughout every era of America’s history. So, here goes…
A day after the cell phone videos reached viral circulation on the internet, I mustered the courage to watch the footage captured where you can see Officer Derek Chauvin on top of Mr. Floyd. Not only was it unbearable watching this officer’s knee weigh down on his neck, but, most disturbing, was the look he made when he looked up in the general direction of where the phone was recording the act. If you were to ask me what I felt I was look at, my response would be that I just had an audience with the devil himself.
While I cannot just sit idle any longer and continue hearing the voices of my Black brothers crying out “I can’t breathe”, I must also plea that we do not fall into traps laid out by race haters and race baiters. One thing that I often see in other minority communities, especially immigrant ones, is the uplifting of education and economic development. They believe in hard work being the catalyst to fuel their growth and make a lasting mark on the fabric of this nation. What I am trying to get at is that while organized protests and marching has begun to get the attention of the powers that be, history shows me that it is simply not enough.
Now, the question I have been wrestling with in my mind is what can I do, specifically, to help try to lift up my Black brothers and sisters? God has made them as beautiful as those of any other color or creed. Back when I started my degree with Western Governors University (WGU) back in 2017, my program mentor gave me this brief assignment which I will share here as I begin to take it down for the night:
In case the image is not viewable, it reads:
My Vision for the Future with a WGU Degree
Ryan L. Foster
My vision for the future is one where I can use the knowledge and skills acquired to help the economic improvement of my city. I want to help the socioeconomically underprivileged by working with community organizations, as a professional consultant to provide technical skills that will assist in job readiness for entry level IT positions.
The tragedies of Floyd, Taylor, and Aubery have only served to intensify my desire for this vision to come to life. I strongly believe that when we rally together and help build each other up in knowledge, skill, and wisdom, we can be a force to reckon with against institutions that keep us perpetually suppressed and oppressed. In isolation, continue to expect a victimhood mentality to lord over our neighborhoods and cities. In true, authentic community, lift your head with the realization that our parents, grandparents, and great-grands’ fight for what’s right was not fought in vain.
And with that, I will stop rambling. However, I will not stay silent as long as there is injustice and insensitivity happening to me and my community. I am praying for a sweeping move of equality and equity in the wake of these deaths.
Grace & Peace,