June 3rd, 2020 ~ Vol. 90 No. 22
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Simply Selles by David Selles
 
David Selles
Pass Herald Reporter
I’m sure many if not all of the people reading this now what’s been happening across the US this past week.

I’m not going to pretend I have all the answers in this column.

All I’m going to do is try and explain my view on what’s happening.

I’ve been struggling a bit with all that’s been going on, from George Floyd’s murder, to the protests and riots.

I’m going to start at the beginning and work my way to now.

On Monday May 25th, George Floyd was murdered by Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin after being put under arrest for using a counterfeit $20 bill at a deli.

Now, there’s reports saying Floyd didn’t even know it was counterfeit.

To me, it’s a moot point because I’m confident in saying that if a white person would’ve been arrested for that, the results would be very different.

After the video surfaced, the outrage began.

People of all backgrounds came together to protest the murder of Floyd and seek justice.

On Friday May 29th, Officer Derek Chauvin was arrested and charged with third degree murder and manslaughter.
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This is one small step in what many still see as a light charge.

Many protesters also want to see the other three officers charged with accessory to murder as they either stood by and did nothing, or knelt on his back and legs.

Floyd’s autopsy was said to have “revealed no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation.”

This was quickly disputed by many other medical examiners who have said there’s no way Chauvin’s knee didn’t play a major part in his death.

Peaceful protests began early last week and some peaceful protests have continued.

In Michigan, video of a local police chief surfaced where the chief asked what he could do for the protesters in that area.

The crowd who had gathered began chanting, “walk with us!” and that is exactly what he did.

This is what we need to see more of.

This is how we can further change what’s been happening.

Unfortunately, protests happening across the country were hijacked and have turned into riots of vandalism and looting.
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The vast majority of these riots are being led by the white population who are no longer standing for needed change but are rather taking advantage of this time for personal gain.

Videos are also showing police across the country firing rubber bullets and pepper spray at people.

This has only escalated the rioting and is making thing harder for peace to be found.

There have been videos of African-Americans pleading with people to stop rioting and looting because it’s taking away form the message that they’re trying to get across.

This is a portion of what African-American Rapper and activist Killer Mike had to say about the riots in Atlanta.

"I have nothing positive to say. I don't want to be here but I have a responsibility to be here. I'm duty bound to be here and simply say it is your duty not to burn your own house down for anger with an enemy. It is your duty to fortify your own house so that you may be a house of refuge in times of organization. Now is the time to plot, plan, strategize, organize and mobilize. It is time to beat up prosecutors you don't like at the voting booth. It is time to hold mayoral officers accountable. It is the responsibility of us to make this better right now. We don't want to see one officer charged, we want to see four officers prosecuted and sentenced.
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We don't want to see Target's burning, we want to see the system that stands up for systemic racism burned to the ground...what I can tell you is that if you sit in your homes tonight instead of burning your home to the ground, you will have time to properly plot, plan, strategize, organize and mobilize and effective way...it is not time to burn your own home. We have to be better than this moment. We have to be better than burning down our own homes because if we lose Atlanta, what else we got? I want you to go home, talk to your friends; I want you to come up with solutions. We need to get ahead of it."

I recently saw another video of people of colour pleading with rioters to stop because “it will be blamed on us!”

That to me speaks volumes about what is currently happening in the States.

The current state has flown past protesting and just become an excuse to burn buildings and loot.

What is currently happening in the States will not change anything.

Right now, a white person who is looting might be seen as an employee who is out of work and in need of something and ma not face discipline let alone be arrested.

Any black person who is even just standing in the vicinity of the chaos happening now has a chance to be arrested because of the colour of their skin.

THAT IS WHAT NEEDS CHANGING.

THAT IS WHAT IS WRONG WITH OUR CURRENT VIEWPOINT.

I personally have never had to worry about what will happen if I get arrested or go for a run and the majority of people have the same way of life. But this isn’t about the majority. This is about the minority who has been struggling to be heard. It’s time the majority stands up for everyone.

I feel that there is one important thing the white population has to do before they try and stand up for what’s right and that’s LISTEN.

We need to LISTEN to what people of colour go through on a daily basis, LISTEN to what they need from us and LISTEN to everything they’re willing to share.

When we start listening and moving forward from there, maybe we can finally make true change.

I can’t imagine what it’s like for parents of young men of colour to have to teach their sons what to do when confronted by police and I hope and pray that someday they won’t have to. I just really hope I’m not naive in believing we can get there.
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June 3rd, 2020 ~ Vol. 90 No. 22
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