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It’s 2020 and a black man still can’t breath – Adeyemi Gbebikan

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Adeyemi Gbebikan

I feel like it took me a long time before I picked up my pen to write about this issue. Even before George Floyd, there were cases that happened that should have made me picked my pen. I ignored it instead. I feel bad.

If you hate me so much before the color of my skin, the color I didn’t get to choose to be born in. The color God chooses to bless me with. The color that I adore all my life, then something is wrong with you and not me.

To be honest, nobody was born a racist. We were all born pure and innocent. People were instead taught to be a racist. Little wonder they say, to build a nation it starts from the family and also ruins a nation, it starts from the family. Every racist is a product of the type of family he was born into. Racism is taught and learned, it is not inbuilt.

Like you probably thinking, I have also thought about it, this is 2020, this is the 21st century, this is not some 400 years ago. Why should the color of my skin still be a problem? Why should I be killed because I am BLACK? Why should I be denied a job because I am not WHITE, why should police think the best thing to do me is to kill me because I do NOT have some privilege? It breaks my heart that, there is still something called WHITE PRIVILEGE in a time and age like this. Some people are still called WHITE SUPREMACISTS, does that even make a sense? Isn’t the word in a stage already where equality and equity should be the standard and way of life? When will I stop being shamed because of the color of my own skin?

I took a day out, I read several cases of how black men and women were killed over little things, that were mostly trigger by racism. A lot of black men are in prison over things that do not worth it. Black people are just unnecessarily hated! Our forefathers were used as slaves to build this nation. Our heroes Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X was assassinated, all in the struggle to get us equality and equity. One would have thought that the sacrifices of these men and women would have earned us a place better off than today. One would have thought that, with the emergence of a black President, perspective and ideas on blacks being monkeys and slaves would have changed. But no, it gets crazier by the day. I am sad!

We will also not say that all whites are racists. We have seen white people who have shown immense love for black people. Supported and protected black people when it mattered.

The content of my character should be your concern and the basis of our relationship as human, not the color of my skin. I didn’t choose to be black, you didn’t choose to be white, God created us in His image and guess what? I am happy being black and that’s the best thing that has happened to me.

The American system needs change. The system has for a long time directly or indirectly supported the current racism in the country. There is a need for a systematic review and change. The system should also be strong enough to punish racists. Then families need to take it up as a point of duty to educate their kids, that everyone is human whether, black, white, caucasian, Hispanic, or whatever and should be treated with respect.

George Floyd, Eric Garner, Breonna Taylor, Ahmad Arbery, Travehon Martin, and many others could have been alive, they could have been here with us. But these black folks lost their lives to whites racists police officers and individuals. It is sad. Please let the black man live, let the black man survive! Being black should not be a death sentence. We can all live together. We never asked to be greater than the whites, all we want is equality and equity!

Black life was, is, and would continue to matter! We are stronger together. Our strength is hidden in our unity! We are black and we are proud.

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