Imagine a white Buick LaCrosse heading down the road on a slow Sunday. Driven by a young Black American, his girlfriend by his side - the carefree couple headed towards a car wash. A police car behind notices a few things out of place. The car ahead had its indicator signaling a right turn while it was on the left lane. An air freshener hanging from its rear view mirror - technically against Minnesota law. And to top it all, the car’s registration tab had expired.
While it must be easy to imagine that the police car will stop the car ahead and maybe even hand over a ticket for expired registration etc. What is beyond impossible to imagine is that the combination of these violations will result in a police officer shooting down the young driver. Yet, on the 11th of this month police officer Kimberly Potter shot dead Daunte Wright for exactly these violations. Apparently she fired her service pistol mistaking it for her taser - but the result remained the same. About a year after George Floyd’s tragic death, not far from where he was killed, Minnesota police once again carelessly did away with yet another young black life. How hard does it have to be a Hyphenated American in this country, especially if you are an African American! Do black lives even matter to us?
In a city already on the edge and halfway through the trial of the first of four police officers involved in Floyd’s death - here comes even more police brutality and racism targeted at the black. Little surprise, therefore, the incident has attracted outrage all around. Protests have broken out all over Minneapolis - Saint Paul and beyond. This adds to the series of protests over the past year - seeking justice for Breonna Taylor, Jacob Blake, Dolal Idd - African Americans lost to police carelessness and sheer racial bias.
Black Lives Matter has always been more of a human rights uprising than a civil rights movement. The focus has been less about changing specific laws and more about fighting for a fundamental societal transformation where Black lives can be free from systematic targeting, discrimination and brutality.
As these protests spread far and wide, The BLM movement is creating far reaching impact. This is true democracy in action, and BLM is just getting started. From stopping police corruption to criminal justice reform - the platform is as expansive as it is far reaching. The essence around all of this is to fundamentally change how we think about, talk about, and work towards our unalienable rights - preservation of life, liberty and promotion of the well being of our fellow humans in order to foster the true pursuit of happiness.