A Declaration of Hope

by Jordan Rock

We, the people of the United States, stand at the bleeding edge of history. This is a time when great change and great good can occur for the sake of all Americans.

The world is watching as millions of Americans flood the streets with a simple message; Enough is Enough.

We are sick and tired of our lives not mattering.
We are sick and tired of being killed indiscriminately in the streets, in our places of work, in our homes.

And most of all, we are sick and tired of being sick and tired of watching the police officers that commit these murders getting off with a slap on the wrist and a paid leave from work.

The cruel killing of George Floyd by a police officer with a knee on his neck is now iconic. The man was suspected of using a fake $20 bill to pay for food.

The police arrived and tried to drag him into the cop car and when the man says he doesn’t want to go, that he’s claustrophobic, the police drag him to the ground and former cop—make that defendant—Derek Chauvin kneels on his neck for nine minutes, including two after the man was already dead.

He did this while George Floyd repeatedly warned that he couldn’t breathe and aided by two of his fellow cops—now his fellow defendants—who kneeled on his torso and completely stopped his breathing. A third defendant cop stood guard and did nothing to stop his codefendants.

It is not just the cruelty of this murder that has nettled much of the United States, but that it is simply a bloody drop in the bucket of this nation’s history of police brutality.

In L.A. alone, some 600 people have been murdered by the police in the last seven years. Every week, another black name and face goes up on social media as yet another victim of police brutality. By the time these protests are over, I can only imagine the death count, let alone all those that have been injured by the police and military.

As they say, children remember everything, and these days will go down in history and the memories of today’s youth.

I’m a 27-year-old black man. I spent my childhood in the 8th ward of New Orleans. It’s a simple hood, with bad streets and good folks.

In a small neighborhood like that, people look out for each other. Why? Because they know that at any time, any one of them could be suddenly killed—likely by the police.

So, the village keeps tabs on each other. The elders keep watch over the kids and everybody tries to know where everybody is.

They do it because every family has a cop story, and just about everybody knows someone in their town that was killed by the police.

I wouldn’t really understand what it was to live under the eyes of the law until I turned 13, when my family was blown away by hurricane winds to live in the Bay Area.

In the time between then and now, I have been stopped or accosted by the police 12 times. Every time except for two, I was walking by myself on the sidewalk. At one stop, a gun was drawn on me.

At any one of those times, I could have died.

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s hard to stay calm with a gun in your face.

When you’re a black kid, at some point, you’re going to get “the talk” about dealing with the police. Stand up straight. Look them in the eye. Be respectful, careful. Answer their questions, preferably simply and quickly. Refer to them as “Sir” or “Ma’am”. Smile.

It’s a tall order, don’t you think, to practice absolute grace when you’re cornered by someone who could murder you for no reason and get away with it?

It’s exhausting to live with that fear, and every black person in America carries that fear wherever they go.

Police violence has plagued America since the conception of policing in the 1700s, which, in the south, began as slave patrols. In the northwest, policing was mainly done by local thugs and roughnecks, who were made to patrol as a punishment for their own crimes. Slave hunters and thugs; that’s what mostly composed the police during their founding in America. It’s amazing how little things change.

In the information age, police violence has been increasingly in the eye of the American public since everybody has a camera on their person.

You would think that with eyes on these heinous acts, there would be more accountability and rules that properly punish officers who choose to murder suspects in the streets. But that isn’t really the case in America.

It seems like every week there’s news from somewhere in America that another cop has killed another person of color.

The last eleven days of protests over the wanton killing of George Floyd is far from the only protests in the past and recent history over the death of a black man, or even over the constant waterfall of blood in the streets from police brutality.

People of color have been protesting against the many manifestations of systemic racism that have plagued their everyday lives for centuries.

But it’s different this time because our countrymen, collectively, have hit their breaking point. The murder of George Floyd is a tipping point of no return.

No justice, no peace.

We are witnessing the biggest mass protest in American history, in world history. People are demonstrating in France, in England, in Germany, in Israel, Australia, Taiwan. Even the Pope Francis has commented, decrying the death of George Floyd as a product of the Sin of Racism.

The voice of the downtrodden in the United States is quite literally louder than it’s ever been, and in this time of strife, I have a few simple requests to make of my fellow exhausted millennials, as well as Gen X and Z.

If you are, like me, part of the generations after the Boomers, I implore you to not to look away. I know times are hard. I know that ever since this year started, it’s been horror after horror, but I must urge you; don’t look away.

You need to witness this and remember.

When the people of the United States took to the streets once more to declare that black lives matter, to protest police brutality, to demand an end to murder by cops, they were met with even more police brutality. Old habits die hard, don’t they?

We have watched as the president has called the military and police to unite in order to dominate peaceful protesters, as they exercise their First Amendment rights out in the streets.

We have watched rabble-rousers escalate these situations with smiles on their faces. We have watched rioters and looters take advantage of the situation for the sake of their own wants and vices.

We have watched reporters and medics get shot at, get arrested, and had their supplies stolen and destroyed.

We have watched children get pepper-sprayed and tear- gassed. We have watched police resign because they refuse to take part. We have watched protesters run over by APCs and squad cars.
We have watched the president call the governors of the United States weak for not siding with the police…all while cowering in a bunker far beneath the White House.

I tell you now that things are going to get worse before they get better.

But they will get better.

This violence will end, because we will put a stop to it, but only if we work together. So, after the protests ebb, here’s what every individual must do:

Know who your local representatives are. Know what they stand for. Monitor how they handle this situation, what they have to say. Write to them, no matter what side they are on, and let your voice be heard.

VOTE. If we have a superpower, this is it. We have the right to choose who represents us, and we need to use it. Hold your representatives accountable for what they say and do during these times. Keep your eyes on them, and don’t let them think, for even a moment, that the world isn’t watching.

Demand laws that abolish police immunity and the use of chokeholds and neck restraints by police. Only 28 states have outlawed chokeholds up to this point, and that’s pathetic.

We are the people of the United States, and we are all screaming together that ENOUGH IS ENOUGH and that SILENCE = VIOLENCE. The last time this happened –

Segregation ended.

If you know you can’t trust the police to do the right thing, help to organize your community. Watch, listen, be aware. Don’t let an abortion of justice happen before your eyes without intervening, and failing that, without witnessing and filming it. If Darnella Frazier, a 17-year-old high school student had the courage to film George Floyd’s death, we can do the same and let the world know.

Keep the pressure on.

Remember your demands.

Do not let up.

Share everything you witness.

Watch your government, your reps, your police.
They need to know that we’re watching, and that we won’t stand for this anymore. Remember how far we’ve come and think of how far we can go.

If we can do that, then there is hope, and with us, the new generations in the lead, I know that we can march together into a bright new future.

Change is coming, and we’re the ones ushering it in.

Do not let up.

3 thoughts on “The Children Remember”
  1. Thanks again Jordan!!! You are Hope manifested!!! btw- Just some thoughts…
    LBRC- DuBois talked about a so- called “Talented 10th! Where are they in 2020 when we need them? How is it ‘Dat so much Academic “Crap” passes unchallenged on this site? So- called “Instructors” hardly if ever make comment here! Why are they so silent when “Trolls” post unsubstantiated opinions, void evidence! Don’t students follow this Site aka Think 504? Why is it ‘Stuntun so- called teachers/instructors not posting  here albeit a few? Graduate Physics Teaches-  

    1. Ignorance in motion will remain in motion until acted upon by an outside force like “Truth and/or Knowledge, undergirded with facts and data!

    2. An object at rest will remain at rest until acted upon by another force and conversely-  Ditto for a so- called “Intellectual ‘Glute” as well! Complicity and “Silence” enables ignorance and Propaganda! Any honest spirit is committed to “Literacy and Truth”! What is prudent about allowing the propagation of ignorance? Socrates rejected this so, he drank his Hemlock without requiring ignorance to physically force it down his throat!

    3. For every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction! Therefore, how can any so- called “Teacher/Instructor” be so dormant and not hostile to the posting of ignorance without resistance? Wise in their own eyes? We think we know and it’s rooted in “Insecurity” and “The Willie Lynch Syndrome”, with respect to American Negroes! How?

    a. Graduate Physics quickly dispels “False Narratives” with respect to Mathematical and Scientific “Competencies”! If you finished 1st in your class, how are you insecure? There are “Applied Sciences and Natural Sciences”! Applied Sciences like Law, Colloquial English and yada…, vary in every state! Gravity does not! “Natural Sciences” say Facts, Data and evidence rule! Meaning? “Learned Helplessness” tells most Negroes to be cautious and silent! Cowards compliment and praise without justification or proof for commendation and run contrary to it, your run of the mill Negro Sycophant, never silent via the Deception of False Praise! We ‘luv Science because it mandates discussion and “Peer Review”! When your ideas can withstand the scrutiny of Scholarly Intellects? What can be more rewarding and fosters more “Security” and self worth than ‘Dat! Silence is indicative of “Insecurity”, like when ‘Massa tells you or implies to “Shut up”! And yes, prudence is a good ‘thang, however- George Bernard said, “There is a point where caution ends and cowardliness begins! 

    b. The Most High also promotes- “For every Evil Action, there will be an opposite and equal Punishment” aka “Reaction” aka you’ll reap what you sow! 

    With respect to DuBois’s Talented 10th? In 2020, it’s appears more a “Talented .001” of! Much like 144K out of 8 Billion plus!  “Silence is vIolence”!!! How does the silent teach via complicity with silence! 

    Peace Out…

  2. Dear Young Gifted:

    LBRC- Dear Young People-  The Mayor isn’t listening! Your NOPD Chief is a “Worker Bee” for The Status Quo! Therefore…

    1. Begin narrowing your search for your representative  young Mayor, no more Old Bobble Heads! This will be a 1st for NOLA! Ignore bought and paid for polls which say you need lots of ‘Mulla and support from the forces oppressing you now!

    2. The Mayor appoints the Chief of Police, the same guy doubling down and saying to you in 2020- “I’m protecting the people by firing Tear Gas and Rubber Bullets moving pass the speed of sound, rather than allowing them on he CCC where traffic has already been halted which generally moves at 60 mph and sub sonic and where Petitioners already are with innocent children”! Which would you prefer, speeding autos at 60 mph or “Rubber Bullets at the speed of sound and gagging “Tear Gas” for you and your kids? 

    3. Powers ‘Dat be will tell you- “A young and intellectual candidate for Mayor has no chance without money from the Status Quo”! However, lots of literate Elders are supporting you we are chronic voters”! Let’s make History together! We supported Cantrell and gave Chief Ferguson a chance. They have repaid us with BS, Ru879bber Bullets and Covid  enhancing Tear Gas! Your intelligence is “Far Superior” and “Indigenous”! Let’s make History together again! Cantrell sees more talent outside of NOLA and her “Chief Executive Hires” totally ignores our “Indigenous Talent”! News Flash- “We have faith in our own”- Period end of sentence!!! We have faith ‘Dat our indigenous Engineers will can operate a vitalized “Archimedes Screw” or creatively solve our S&WB flooding problems, because their Grandma and Grandpa lives in NOLA!!!

    We can do this!!! Begin now and we will back you aka our “Indigenous Gifted”!!! Believe and we can conceive! 

    Peace Out…

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