In the year 1963, at the height of the Civil rights movements in America, Dr Martin Luther King wrote, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” In 2020, 57 years later, the words have never rung more true.
In February, a young 25-year-old unarmed black man named Ahmaud Arbery goes jogging outside Brunswick, Georgia. While jogging, he is pursued by two white men in a pick-up truck who later shoot him. The pursuers who are father and son admit to the shooting but are not arrested or charged with any crime until May.
On the March 13th Breonna Taylor a 26-year-old EMT is shot eight times in her home, when Louisville Metro Police officers entered her house, as part of a drug investigation to apprehend a suspect who according to the lawsuit; filed against the police; was already in custody.
On the May 25th George Floyd a 46-year-old black man dies, pleading that he cannot breathe after a Minneapolis police officer kneels on his neck as a means of subduing him, reported for buying cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill.
These incidents are not new. These are acts of violence that have plagued racially marginalised communities and not only in America. You see what Dr Martin Luther King understood is that if we do not speak up against violence based on race, then we are part of the problem. The outrage after the video of the last 8 minutes and 46 seconds of George Floyd life went viral has led to protests worldwide.
Fashion brands, beauty brands and public personalities have spoken up and against racial based violence. As Voir Fashion, a brand that celebrates diversity and showcases creativity, we cannot remain silent. Voir stands in solidarity with the black community in demanding Justice for Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and countless others.
So how can you do your part in the fight against racial discrimination and violence?
First, in regard to George Floyd, you can sign the petition here on Change.Org to reach Mayor Jacob Frey and DA Mike Freeman to have all the officers involved in this disgusting situation fired and charged. You can also support his family by contributing to their GoFundMe account here.
Secondly, you need to protest. Let your voice be heard, be it on your social media or your immediate community, support movements like Black Lives Matter because to be silent is to be complicit.
Third, educate yourself, Nelson Mandela once said education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world. Here is a link to books that can educate you on systemic discrimination and how you can be an ally to the victims of oppression.
Words By Precious Njoki