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One of the definitions in Webster’s Dictionary of the word Expendable:

of little significance when compared to an overall purpose, and therefore able to be abandoned. 

In the fictional universe of Star Trek, the 23rd century Starfleet officers who wear red uniforms were almost always, more or less, expendable security officers and often killed, sometimes in large numbers due to being unlucky victims of attacks and various sicknesses. With the exception of two major characters (and Trek fans know who they are), it is a constant within every episode of the initial Star Trek television series.

Now, imagine feeling that you could be in situations just as perilous at any moment. No, I’m not talking about Gorn, Klingons, or any other fictional alien race. I’m talking about the dangers black people face in this county on a regular basis, even while doing simple things like jogging or sleeping in the comfort of our own homes, not to mention, Being harassed, wrongfully profiled and even killed by police, because our very existence is seen as a threat. In America, we’ve been treated like the expendable Redshirts of society since, well, we were brought here on the slave ships.

 

I was originally going to write a review of a TV show. However, recent events that have occurred this week, have made feel an overwhelming mixture of sad and numb. Have forced me to talk about something significantly more important.

On Tuesday, May 25th, 2020, former restaurant security guard George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis, Minnesota by police officer Derek Chauvin after he had been arrested and handcuffed after, allegedly, using a counterfeit bill or using a bad check in a nearby store. Upon pinning him down to the ground, Chauvin presses his knee firmly on Floyd’s neck, essentially choking him. There were four other Minneapolis police officers standing right near Chauvin during the incident, which was being filmed on camera by innocent bystanders. In the his last moment of life, he cried out multiple times for his late mother and that he COULD NOT BREATHE.

This heinous incident, is one in a long line of incidents involving brutality and wrongful, racist profiling by police, and other hate crimes committed towards black people in America. For decades, we have been practically been shouting from the rooftops about how completely fucked up this deadly american pastime is, and the harm it does to our culture. However, even after decades of protests, riots, funerals, and zero accountability for these blatant human rights violations, the powers that be STILL refuse to listen.

 

In the days that followed Floyd’s murder, protests and riots have popped not only in Minneapolis area, but across the nation in cities like Los Angeles, Nashville, Philadelphia, and my own home base of Wilmington, Delaware. Of course, there are some people that can only focus on the destruction of property, asking “what that’s gonna solve?”, knowing damn well that black people are beaten and killed by police when we protest peacefully. Don’t believe me? Please go home and do some real research on Dr. King, and don’t just pick and choose certain quotes to fit your obvious agenda. Riots are crazy, and dangerous, but, if you recall the history of our planet, they have a tendency to evoke change.

The French Revolution (Storming the Bastille)

The Boston Tea Party

Stonewall Riots (you know, that’s how Pride Parades were started)

The Civil Rights movements of the 1960’s

So if you are a non-black person who is essentially, telling black people how they should react to an epidemic that clearly directly effects them, educate yourself, and as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson used to say, “Know your role, and shut your mouth.”

 

Now that I’ve vented a bit, I want to express how glad I am to see the overwhelming number of people across many cultures who are speaking out,  protesting against heinous acts such as police brutality, and standing in solidarity with all of my black brothers and sisters. The only thing I have to ask all of you who fall under this umbrella of truth and justice, to all of my black brothers and sisters, and to all else who choose to stand on the right side of history:

DO NOT QUIT THIS FIGHT.

Keep protesting

Keep speaking out

Keep educating yourselves and others,

Keep checking on the well-being of all who are protesting, and yes, even rioting.

And keep steady in your solidarity.

 

It is my hope that maybe, just maybe, change will come from all of this, as it has in years past. That we as a society will no longer treat black people like the expendable members of it.

 

Maybe, we’ll stop being treated like Redshirts.

 

All My Love,

 

-S.

 

 

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