TW: police brutality , execution , Breonna Taylor , George Floyd , Brandon Bernard //
It’s 1:07am as I write this. I am infuriated. I’m lying awake in my bed thinking about Breonna Taylor. I am thinking about George Floyd. And now, there’s another name for me to think about: Brandon Bernard. I have been silent for too long. It is time for me to speak up.
I am white. Being white gives me a unique set of privileges that people of color do not receive. White people are unjustly given an advantage every single day, just because of our skin color. That’s because our systems of “justice”, and just people in general, are racist. It’s part of systems called systemic racism and racial bias. News flash: they exist.
Breonna Taylor didn’t deserve to die. She was peacefully and innocently sleeping. She did nothing wrong. The police weren’t even looking for her. She should not have died. Had Breonna Taylor been a white woman, the warrant wouldn’t have even been served.
George Floyd didn’t deserve to die. He used a counterfeit $5 bill. A human life should be worth more than $5. Had George Floyd been white, he would have received a slap on the wrist, and at worst a night in jail.
Brandon Bernard’s case is different, but the same principle applies. Brandon was an accomplice to a murder when he was 18. He didn’t even pull the trigger. While obviously I don’t condone murder in any way, Brandon spent the years he had in jail focusing on bettering himself and helping others. He was truly a changed man. The only reason he was killed was because the courts refused to hear evidence that was not allowed to be shown at his original sentencing. Even most of the original prosecution and jury agreed that he should’ve been given a trial for the presentation of the new evidence. That evidence would have most likely pulled him off of death row and reduced his sentence to life in prison without parole. He didn’t even pull the trigger, but still paid for it like he did. Had Brandon Bernard been a white man, he would have easily gotten that retrial with that corresponding sentence. He would not have died.
There are two systems of “justice” in America. One for white people (typically slaps on the wrists), and another for Black people (typically ends in death). That is not justice. Justice is supposed to be equal. We all should be equal in the eyes of the law. Every crime should be prosecuted the same way, despite differences in things like race or skin color.
It is time for reform. It is time for us to stand up together against our so-called justice system. Everyone should be equally prosecuted with the same rights and the same laws of justice. It’s not happening, and it’s damn well past the time for it to start. We must fix it and we must fix it now.
Black lives fucking matter.