As the protest began to die down, a group marched to police headquarters, chanting: “No justice, no peace.” York Daily Record
Most days, before my husband leaves the house, I hug him tight.
And, I reminisce about the things I love about his face like I could never see it again.
He’s not an enlisted soldier, but every time he walks outside of our door, he is deployed into a war against his black skin that labels him a threat before he can even say “don’t shoot” or “I can’t breathe.”
This war, fueled by the deeply rooted and disturbing layers of racism, started way before we were even here, but the casualties still haunt us. Still happen.
When we watched George Floyd plead for his life underneath the knee of a Minneapolis police officer, we lost our breath too.
We’re exhausted. We’re fed up and we’re tired of having to validate our blackness to people who won’t view us as human.
As a black, married couple, we made unspoken vows to navigate the turbulent nature of this country — facing challenges that only inconvenience us because of the skin that drapes our flesh.
Together, we did what our brothers and sisters have been doing since before we could say “peace” or “justice” — we participated in the nearest peaceful protest.
As we walked through downtown York with our allies by our side, businesses had Black Lives Matter signs in their windows, and then we turned the corner to Continental Square.
No Justice. No Peace.
Say their names.
We immerse ourselves in a sea of signs, people, and shirts, all underneath “Racism Will Not Be Tolerated Here” banners.
This protest was orchestrated by teenagers, and many of the speakers were young, as well. It served as a sliver of hope that youth are not sitting idly by because they can’t vote yet.
Steven and I don’t have children, but when we do, we won’t have the luxury of solely worrying about being first-time parents. It was like looking into a mirror — hearing a black mother talk about her fear of letting her children go outside and play without her.
Can you blame us? Tamir Rice’s mother wouldn’t.
I continue to get chills seeing all the different faces around me with masks. The symbol is even more apparent — our voices cannot be unheard.
We are loud, proud, and unwilling to remain silent.
I grab Steven’s hand during the moment of silence. And, with my head slightly tilted down, I peek over to my left and see an elderly woman in a wheelchair with a sign taped to the back of her seat. To my right, I see two teenagers holding hands with their heads down and their eyes closed.
When the moment of silence is over, I look up and see black fists, white fists, brown fists, small fists, and big fists in the air.
In that moment, I know that I am not alone in fighting for my husband’s life, my dad’s life, my brother’s life, and every black life that does not deserve to perish at the hands of racism.
A young woman sings “We Shall Overcome” and tears swell, but don’t fall from my eyes. I can’t give any more tears, but I still feel. I still ache.
I grab Steven’s hand tighter.
We were not here to walk in the ’60s and we were too young to protest for Rodney King, but we are here now.
We’ve been knocked down, but racism cannot keep us all pinned to the ground, calling out for our mothers, saying we can’t breathe.
Read or Share this story: https://www.ydr.com/story/opinion/2020/06/03/black-lives-matter-protesting-racism-as-a-young-black-married-couple-in-2020-george-floyd/3134962001/