Floyd’s death is ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back; All systems are broken for Blacks

All my life I have heard the “straw that breaks the camel’s back”.  Well, I finally understand what that means.  My mother would say it when she was ready to give me a whipping after she had caution me to stop.  The killing of George Floyd on national television was the straw that broke the camel’s back.  We have had so many young Black men killed by law enforcement over my lifetime and it took this one to get our attention.  This one is special because we all got to see a man die at the hands of a White police officer.  Before this the last killing, I saw on television was when Lee Oswald shot Jack Ruby.  That was in 1963.

I called both of my brothers and we talked about how we wished we could be involved.  However, we are the children of the sixties and we have been tear-gassed, pepper-sprayed, had horses chase us, and waterhoses shot on us.  We are with the protestors; we just can no longer run. (And, of course, there is that virus which is keeping us at home.)

So yes, I am glad for the young people. I hope they know that law enforcement is broken, but it is not the only system broken in America. The education system for Blacks is broken; the employment system for Blacks is broken; the housing system for Blacks is broken, and many of the other systems for Blacks are broken.

Is the religious system broken? It must be when you have a president in front of a church without a member of the clergy holding up a bible that he never opened and did not read one passage from it as he stood with all gray-headed White men and one female.  What was the message?  I guess the message was simply, I can order the troops to scatter a peaceful group of people so I might cross the street and hold up a bible.

There is much talk about the economy in America and that people must go back to work.  Well, if you are Black and unemployed or underemployed there may not be a place for you to go.  So, what can America do now.  Well, first we should bring back all the overseas customer service people and hire locally, does it frustrate you when you call for customer service and you spend a good deal of time trying to explain your problem. I do understand the employee cost in India or other countries is nothing compared to what it would cost in America.  However, America could subsidize these companies to put our citizens to work. We know the automobile industry can make masks, gowns, ventilators, and other required items. Wouldn’t it be good if we made enough to squeeze out China and to have all the other countries coming to us and to our workers?  Can’t we make all the parts and equipment for automobiles here in America?  I know we can but yes, it would cost because to live in America is expensive compared to other countries.

Just think if the Presidents and CEOs of major corporations would look at their compensation packages and just say, “I will find two working families who are the working poor and provide each of them an additional $500 per week out of my millions so that they are no longer the working poor but maybe the working middle class,” would not America then be great?  It is scriptural that you will always have the poor with you, that does not mean that you should not help them.

Linda Johnson
Plaquemine, La