On May 25, 2020, Minneapolis police officers arrested George Floyd, an African American man for a non-violent, implied crime.
Even without resisting his arrest, Floyd was ruthlessly killed at the hands of these officers. His last words — I can’t breathe — have been echoed around the world since, unleashing a global outcry.
Millions around the world have responded to this demonstration of inhumane policing and brutality, calling for the lawful conviction of his murderers and a deeper, societal change.
At the forefront of this activism is Black Lives Matter, an international human rights movement calling for the equal treatment of Black folx.
Floyd’s death, while heart wrenching and disturbing, is unfortunately not an isolated incident. In the same week, a white woman named Amy Cooper gained infamy when she unfoundedly called the police on a Black man in Central Park.
Fortunately, the man, Christian Cooper, an avid birder of the Park, was documenting his encounter with Amy the entire time. It is not a far stretch of imagination to think how devastating the outcome could have been if he was not.
The truth is that these incidents of anti-blackness and racism extend beyond policing bodies and criminal justice. They point to a monumental flaw in our institutions and systems, in our society, all of which operate under a white supremacist culture.
Anti-black racism is not a uniquely American phenomenon either. It happens around the world.
While these issues are garnering global attention now, the reality is that Black bodies have been vilified and demonized since their arrival on North American shores.
This needs to stop now. At ThriveHire, we serve as a resource and platform for the global health community. We condemn police brutality and acknowledge that it is a serious public health concern.
We also acknowledge that anti-black racism severely undermines and threatens the integrity of health systems, the very systems we work to uphold. This has become especially apparent in recent months, as Black people and communities of colour in the United States continue to be disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
We stand by the activists and advocates working to create a more just and equitable world, even when faced with defiant opposition, violence, and great personal hardship.
We support the people who are trying to dismantle deeply entrenched white supremacist systems and applaud those trying to uplift Black voices and experiences.
The road to a more equal world is not going to be easy. It will require learning, and unlearning, and engaging in difficult, uncomfortable conversations. The onus to do this is on all of us.
In the words of Michelle Obama:
“Race and racism is a reality that so many of us grow up learning to just deal with. But if we ever hope to move past it, it can’t just be on people of colour to deal with it. It’s up to all of us—Black, white, everyone—no matter how well-meaning we think we might be, to do the honest, uncomfortable work of rooting it out.”
Allyship is not a goal or a milestone, it is a continual, never-ending process. Here is a list of resources you should check out if you want to learn, donate, and become better allies. Black Lives Matter.