The killings of the COVID-19 lockdown

Updated: Feb 2

The steady blows of African Americans being killed with seeming impunity by white cops and racist vigilantes don't let up even during the time of COVID-19.

On February 23, Ahmaud Arbery was shot and killed by two white residents of Georgia while jogging through the streets of their neighborhood. When a video of the murder went viral on May 5, condemnations from numerous religious leaders, politicians, athletes, and other celebrities forced an arrest of the perpetrators. There was outrage, there was hurt, but the streets remained quiet.

On March 16, Breonna Taylor was gunned down in her apartment by plainclothes Louisville police pursuing a false lead in the infamous war on drugs. There was little reaction to Breonna’s killing until a Black Lives Matter activist posted about her death on May 15. There was outrage, there was hurt, but the streets remained quiet.

On May 25, George Floyd was asphyxiated in broad daylight by a Minneapolis police officer pressing his knee on the black man’s neck while he moaned, “I can’t breathe.” Videos of the eight minutes of horrific inhumanity went viral, and the streets exploded. A population disproportionately ravaged by COVID-19 could take no more.

No American remains untouched by this nightmare. There are two clear sides, and Shoga Films is on the side of the protestors. This time the protestors are not just African Americans. But ringing words of solidarity mean nothing. THERE IS ONLY ACTION! Black people do not have to be told this; allies and well-meaning sympathizers of other races must learn this lesson. Sympathy without action is a fraud; tears without action are insulting.

There are many actions from marching in the streets; supporting Black Lives Matter; challenging, even as a white person, why there are no people of color sitting on the panel of the job you are interviewing for. Our action, as an organization, is a significant contribution to Black Lives Matter and the National Black Justice Coalition. There will be other actions, but this is our stake now.

Those who do not act let the racist current of American history flow and flow and flow. There will be more murders, and no one who hasn’t acted in this time of clear choice can say, “I am not guilty.”