Publisher’s Note: Get off our necks

By Ronda Watson Barber

 I have been watching the  Derek Chauvin trial.  I watched the videos. Videos that hadn’t been seen in public before. I cried.  How can one justify placing a knee on someone’s knee for over nine minutes?  How can someone listen to a men beg for mercy and his life and not respond appropriately?  Everyday people who witnessed the murder testified in court.  They shed tears in public after their inability to render aid to George Floyd.  George Floyd was a man. He deserved dignity and respect.

Some have described the viral video as a metaphor for the Black experience in America. Civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton eulogized George Floyd. 

George Floyd’s story has been the story of black folks because ever since 401 years ago, the reason we could never be who we wanted and dreamed to being is you kept your knee on our neck. We were smarter then the underfunded schools you put us in, but you had your knee on our neck. We could run corporations and not hustle in the street, but you had your knee on our neck. We had creative skills, we could do whatever anybody else could do, but we couldn’t get your knee off our neck. What happened to Floyd happens every day in this country, in education, in health services, and in every area of American life, it’s time for us to stand up in George’s name and say get your knee off our necks.

That’s the problem no matter who you are. We thought maybe we had …maybe it was just us, but even blacks that broke through, you kept your knee on that neck. Michael Jordan won all of these championships, and you kept digging for mess because you got to put a knee on our neck. White housewives would run home to see a black woman on TV named Oprah Winfrey and you messed with her because you just can’t take your knee off our neck. A man comes out of a single parent home, educates himself and rises up and becomes the President of the United States and you ask him for his birth certificate because you can’t take your knee off our neck.

The reason why we are marching all over the world is we were like George, we couldn’t breathe, not because there was something wrong with our lungs, but that you wouldn’t take your knee off our neck. We don’t want no favors, just get up off of us and we can be and do whatever we can be.

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Just my thoughts…rwb

To the litigious: The First Amendment protects several basic freedoms in the United States including freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right to assemble, and the right to petition the government. It was part of the Bill of Rights that was added to the Constitution on December 15, 1791.  The U.S. Constitution applies to Black Americans as well.  The views expressed in OhioMBE and the media outlets of The 912 Group are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views/opinions of The 912 Group, the editor, publisher, our staff, families, or our advertisers.

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