Ironically, it is now highly recommended that we keep a mask on when going out in public due to COVID-19. However, ‘Mask Off’ has been a term we’ve become much more accustomed to hearing. ‘Mask off’ is a reference to taking off the veil, or cover, to reveal your true self underneath it all. There are people that live their entire lives with their mask on, going as far as using cosmetics or surgeries to hide flaws, scars, and their true identity. If we are going to move our nation forward, it’s time to take the mask off.
Licensed to Kill
Shifting from a novel pandemic, let’s revert back to a chronic disorder plaguing our nation. Licenses to kill are not preceded without precedence. Starting with the first Africans brought to the Americas, specifically for generational slavery, or the dismemberment of Kunta Kinte; the demobilization of Nat Turner and Denmark Vesey, the Dread Scott Case, the deadly Civil War, the Klan Act of 1871, Harrison Act of 1913, the Great Migration from the south, Emmett Till, the assassinations of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., to modern day Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray, Philando Castile, Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Sandra Bland, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd just to name a few.
To prove premeditated murder, indisputable evidence must confirm the intentional killing of a person with premeditated intent to cause and inflict harm and/or cause death. What if the murder of George Floyd was not only premeditated, but it was pre-dated?
‘Embedded’ is a term that can be used to describe something buried deep in the core of a citizen, culture, community, and/or country. Embedded racism is one of those things that people have popularized and politicized, but have never pointed to its origins and placement. Exposing what is at the core of any issue is the true challenge. It is evident that there is fundamental, institutional, environmental, and economic racism within our country. What are we going to do to eradicate embedded racism?
Until every Black Man and Woman can experience the sight of flashing blue and red lights behind them, without their heart skipping a beat, we cannot say we are ALL free.
“But I believe as we struggle with these problems, we’ve got to struggle with them with a method that can be militant but at the same time does not destroy life or property. And so our slogan must not be ‘Burn, baby, burn.’ It must be, ‘Build, baby, build.’ ‘Organize, baby, organize.’ Yes, our slogan must be ‘Learn, baby, learn,’ so that we can ‘Earn, baby, earn.’”
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Protest. Protest. Protest.
Exercise your right to protest; however, protest with a plan. A plan should include comprehensive, long-term strategies and deliverables. We too often have long term expectations and make short term commitments. Moving forward, we must lead with courage and consistency and commit to completing what we start! Please don't undermine the value in voting.
Although we’re 400 years removed from the auction blocks of slavery, the realities we still face today show there’s been very little progression. We must organize, we must strategize, and we must create movement; progress should not be an option but a requirement. We must ensure our message remains consistent and that the impact in our current movement is not lost when cameras stop rolling. If we are going to move our nation forward, it’s time to take the mask off.
Malcolm X said "We are waiting on others to do for us, that which we are capable of doing ourselves."