Amid the recent protests and conversations about racism and police brutality in America, it’s been repeatedly said that what’s happening right now in response to the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and so many others can’t just be a moment. It has to be a movement.
And for that to truly happen, I’m of the belief that those of us who don’t know what it’s like to be black in America need to take some time to stop talking and really listen. It’s important to listen to the experiences of those around us who don’t share the same background that we do. We need to hear their words and their stories. And upon doing so, we need to learn. Because, if you’re a part of society, you have a part to play in all of this.
We have to be better. We have to play our part. Because people are hurting and for far too long, nothing has been done about it. The time for change? It’s been here for a while now. But it seems like, lately, more and more people are starting to wake up and realize it—myself included.
There is absolutely no reason that racism should still be as prevalent as it is in 2020. It had no place all those years ago anyway, but now? We should be so far past that, not only as a country but as a human race. But unfortunately, racism is still out there. It’s everywhere. And the problem of police brutality, especially with regard to people of color—that’s all real.
If you don’t believe that’s true, open your eyes. Step out of your personal bubble. And, please, just listen. When you hear someone say “Black Lives Matter” or see a player kneel to protest against police brutality (not the flag or the anthem because it’s never been about that), don’t immediately resort to going on the defensive. Don’t pull the “All Lives Matter” card or go into a “what about...?” rebuttal. Don’t even say anything it all. Simply listen to someone who has gone through things that you’ll never have to deal with.
Listen and learn. We can all do a little more of that, can’t we? So, I’m going to practice that myself. I’ll shut up now. Because on Wednesday, Buccaneers cornerback Carlton Davis shared an experience of his own encounter with law enforcement when he was just a teenager. Beyond the story, Davis talks about the education that we can all take part in to help make a change in this country. He shared his message with Twitter, Instagram and Buccaneers.com. And it’s important. It’s worth your time. Here it is: