Fort Lauderdale, Fla. – “I’m not black. I’m not white. I’M HUMAN!” shouted a protester at one of the protests around the nation over the murder of George Floyd, who was mercilessly killed in front of the world by Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin on Memorial Day.
Black men everywhere are screaming at the top of their lungs, ‘we are human.’ Should it take that?
Best-selling author, minister, and Miramar, Fla. resident Elvin J. Dowling, in his book, “Still Invisible?: Examining America’s Black Male Crisis,” which debuted on Amazon in January as number one in the Civil Rights category, says most black men in America believe they are invisible and believe in the need to fight just to be treated with humanity. For many, George Floyd’s outrageous murder proved their case but say it is nothing new. How many others have died senselessly at the hands of white officers with no justice? But the brutality of former officer Chauvin pressing his knee onto Floyd’s neck until the life was sucked out of him, seemed to open the world’s eyes.
Dowling says America is just awakening to what millions of minorities have lived through every day of their lives.
Willie Pyfrom, 84, of West Palm Beach, has worked in the Palm Beach County school system for 60 years and has seen a lot in his lifetime. But he says now the world is turning against America. The world is not pleased with how America treats black men, says Pyfrom. Black men built this country and still have never been given respect. Pyfrom reiterated, the ire at America is worldwide. In places like London, Berlin, Copenhagen, Prague, the people are taking to the streets in protest over the blatant disregard for Floyd’s life “The nation is now at a crossroad, a turning point,” said West Palm
Beach mayor Keith James, whose city erupted in protests, then violence as did most major cities in America. James and others ask the question, what happens next? Dowling, the author, says black people have done enough. “Chapter 8 in my book asks, ‘Will they ever see us?’
It’s hard being a black man in America. It’s real. Yes, it’ll change when white people change it. There’s nothing more that black people can say or do. We’ve said and done it all.”
Patrick Franklin, president and CEO of the Urban League of Palm Beach County also says white people in power have to stand up. Franklin pointed out systemic change has to take place in the criminal justice system, police reform, healthcare and education reform.
Palm Beach County’s Black Elected Officials descended upon the County Commission chambers Tuesday morning to demand transparency within law enforcement in Palm Beach County. State Sen. Bobby Powell, District 30, says their constituents have called and pleaded for transparency.
Millennials like Dwayne Taylor II, 23, of Boynton Beach, say the kind of change we need will be slow coming, if at all. He says black leadership must step up and police must be held accountable. He also points out that like most black men he is completely disrespected by white America. They’re moved by money, he says. “They love what we do for them, and they love how we make money for them, but otherwise as a black man, they don’t care about us,” Taylor said.
Black men everywhere agree on one thing. The injustice has gone on for too long and something must change.
The great NBA legend and activist Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, in a TV interview, summed it up regarding the mayhem that’s permeating society right now: “It’s no time to rush to judgment. It’s time to rush to justice.”