2021-05-18The horrific and inhumane death of George Floyd was the absolute last straw for many people. His death caused such an uprising that no one was prepared for. Floyd’s death caused thousands of people across the country to protest and literally fight for their lives. Citizens began a peaceful protest which turned into violent protests which resulted in the burning and looting of the city of Minneapolis. This protest turned violent because even after the negative image the police had in the country’s eyes, they still proceeded to injure Americans, using rubber bullets and tear gas during these protests. I chose this picture because it is very impactful to me as a Black man in America it is terrifying and sad. The way police treat Black men such as myself is beyond scary and traumatizing. There are no words to describe how it feels to walk around as a man with brown skin. In the photo I selected, there are two police officers beating on a Black man while he is down on the ground. It baffles my mind how even after an individual is down, disarmed, and disables, police officers will continue to apply unnecessary force to the individual. The death of George Floyd and the events that took place after is a monumental event in history. People need to know how America, came together despite race and differences and protested to enforce the Black Lives Matter Movement. So many different groups of people put their differences aside and came together to protest the safety of Black people. It is important that police violence is captured not only for the justice of the individual who was hurt, but as a part of history. The police brutality and Black Lives Matter movement is very important part of history. This is a movement that brought together many individuals of different race, class, and beliefs to support the end the abuse of Black citizens of America. I chose this picture which occurred in Buffalo NY, officer decided to beat down a 75 year old man who was peacefully protesting. The idea of police who are supposed to serve and protect are beating an elderly man, imagine what they would do to a young man as myself. I’m glad these cruel acts of violence are now being captured and people are receiving the justice they deserve. It is also important for people to see these events as a part of history.
2020-05-30I assume like many New Yorkers, March 13th through 18th was when things really changed. It did for me on the 15th of March 2020 or the ides of March as I like to remember it. My store shut down for what seemed like 2 weeks. Of course, soon I would be given the news we would be shut down completely. I already knew where things were going, at the time I worked at an Asian restaurant, so I was hearing many of the conversations about China then. But I could not have predicted what would happen next. As slow and dreadful as 2020 was, things were moving at lightning speed for the situation we experienced. It felt like every few days something new would arise and test our nation. I selected these pictures because it shows how tired everyone is, the blank faces of people who are following orders, while the other side expresses their hardships all the while wearing masks, the bane of 2020. I want the historian of the future to know that no matter the situation at hand, many of us will still protest for what was wrong even if they got sick. It didn’t matter because we needed to send a message. The two images that you see in the beginning were taken by my friend, Emilio Lopez, who documented the protests, riots, and clashes between police in the summer of 2020. I did not go to the early protests because of covid and the violence/looting wasn’t the things I wanted to be a part of. I remember face-timing my friend to make sure if he was alright as I did not go with him. What he described to me that was happening in the parts of Fordham, and Union Square areas. Emilio had said many of the protesters were young men who were bored of the lockdowns and needed to do something exciting. There were fires, baton exchanges with the cops, and then the looting started. It all got a little too ugly for the whole week of George Floyd protests in New York. One of my close friend’s stores in Fordham was destroyed as a result. The images were taken right before things took a violent turn at Union Square. Where many of my friends were tear-gassed and beaten by cops to disperse when the first lockdown was getting implemented. Those two images, I feel like the body language of the subjects conveys how I felt about the lockdowns, the social injustice, in general about 2020. These were the first few weeks of protests that took place in the wake of George Fyold murder. I was shocked and scared when the masses went on to the streets because of the sheer amount while the pandemic was still going on. I hope the historians of the future can understand us even if they have to go through a cluster of memes from this era, real pictures with real human emotions will always speak louder I believe, and that civil rights in this country still have ways to go.