I’m a Black lady and I’ve proudly labored as a 911 dispatcher in metro Atlanta for greater than 5 years now. I respect the significance of my function in emergency providers and I’m grateful for day-after-day that I can serve my county. I do know firsthand that racial discrimination is a really actual phenomenon, and reality be instructed, not solely is public security not immune from it, it is rather a lot affected by it.
Lately my coronary heart has been particularly heavy with grief as I watch the headlines appear to return in with extra frequency. One other mindless officer-involved taking pictures; one other routine visitors cease that ruptured right into a violence-filled incident; one other fatality; one other individual’s vivid future diminished to chilly, sterile historical past on a gurney. The information reveals that extremely publicized incidents of police brutality have a far-reaching impression by Black neighborhoods and all the time result in Black People dialing the emergency line much less and initiating fewer interactions with police.
It looks like combating an invisible warfare generally the place the battle is already considerably tilted in favor of your opponent. Besides the enemy isn’t flesh and blood; it isn’t a person, or a unique demographic. The enemy we’re combating is a worldview; a tradition that humiliates and ridicules the oppressed, forgives the oppressor, and tolerates the malignant unfold of xenophobia. It’s an mental warfare for the hearts and minds of younger, impressionable generations who will in the end form and redefine the politics of our nation. If we lose, we lose our humanity and we forfeit all of the socioeconomic progress we’ve got made up to now in combating discrimination. The issue merely turns into the norm.
What the Black Lives Issues motion means to me, is the detriment of a system of energy that has served as a dangerous reminder of what racial ignorance seems to be like up shut in individual. It means the tearing down of an antiquated political mindset that has inspired hate speech, promoted violence in opposition to civil protesters, and fueled hate teams. Those that take the stance that the Black Lives Matter motion is a home terrorist group or only a cleverly disguised ploy of the far-Left to overthrow President Trump and demonize all white individuals, are clearly lacking the target of civil unrest.
The BLM motion isn’t the issue. It’s an precise change-driven resistance that was born reactively as a strategy to handle the issue of systemic police bias. Simply as the principle downside isn’t legislation enforcement; the bias in policing is a problematic symptom, nevertheless it’s not the foundation trigger. The difficulty is the institutionalized race-based double commonplace that has pervaded all facets of our Western society with out mitigation. Immediately in 2020, with Election Day quick approaching, residents who share my pores and skin shade are extra sick and drained than ever earlier than. What many fail to grasp is the present state of civil unrest and public dysfunction isn’t the illness. It’s the outcome slightly of a larger, inherent illness. The illness being the normalization of concern, hate, and insensitive rhetoric.
The looting, the protesting, the marching, the frustration and the general public outrage doubtless received’t cease till the injustice, the racial profiling, and the killings cease. Till Black lives lastly matter.
Samantha Hawkins is a 911 public security dispatcher for Cobb County.