Clay Banks Black Lives Matter UnsplashSource: Clay Banks / Unsplash

I'm tired of 2020 — it's been nothing but a dumpster fire since the start, and it feels like it just continues to get worse and worse each and every day.

I know this is a tech site, but there has been so much happening lately that in all honesty, the tech stuff seems a bit trivial at this point. I'm very thankful and grateful that I have a great job here at iMore, but these days, it isn't all about Apple and tech. It's about the First Amendment, equality for all Black people, and how systemic racism and racism, in general, need to come to an end.

I'm also very tired of hearing people say "but all lives matter!" No, that is fundamentally flawed because African Americans have never felt equal among their White peers — they've faced hundreds of years of oppression, being treated differently by others because of the color of their skin, and they live in fear of being shot by cops because of systemic racism in a corrupt organization that absolutely needs reform. It's very clear that in the current state, Black lives do not matter to a lot of people, from racists to corrupt cops.

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In order to prop up one aspect of society, we don't push down another. By saying "Black lives matter," we're not saying non-Black lives matter less. We're saying that we need to remember, and to remind our criminal and judicial system, that Black folks should be afforded the same protections, assumptions, and justice as White folks. Not more, and not at the expense of any other ethnicities. Just the same amount. Equal.

The current state of events all around the world, the protests, the riots, the looting — all of it stemmed from a White cop who killed a Black man by choking him to death with his knee in his neck. George Floyd was accused of trying to pass a counterfeit $20 bill. Whether Floyd did or did not knowingly pass a counterfeit bill, do you think a person's life is worth $20? Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin didn't think this Black man's life was. Neither did three other Minneapolis police officers that stood and watched as Floyd pleaded for his life.

This is not the only event of systemic racism — there have been so many incidents of it in recent years — but this is the one that broke the camel's back. I've seen tweets and Facebook posts about how other White people may have unknowingly tried to use a counterfeit bill, but they never had the cops called on them, and they especially did not have the cop kill them by asphyxiation with a knee on their neck for almost 9 minutes while he was already down on the ground in handcuffs.

I may not fully understand the racism that African Americans go through, because I'm Asian, which many may even call the "model minority." In my experience, this stereotype is more true than not — Asians tend to assimilate into white culture, keep our heads down, try not to draw too much attention to ourselves. We actually benefit from it, for the most part. But when COVID-19 hit the world, Asians were the target of plenty of racist remarks and assaults from others. Just not so much assault from cops. But I'm tired of the racism everywhere — BLACK LIVES MATTER, as well as everyone of color. But Black folks have been treated the worst for hundreds of years, and this needs to stop.

It's also outrageous that I'm seeing such disgusting acts of police brutality against protestors, who are protesting police brutality — do they not realize the irony here? There are too many incidents of this to name off, but the most recent one that comes to mind right now is the one of Buffalo police shoving an elderly man down, resulting in a cracked skull and bleeding out of the ear. Clearly the police have so much power that they just continue to abuse. Things need to change, including the institutionalized racism that cops believe they can get away with right now. Thankfully, the four cops involved with the George Floyd case have been rightfully charged, but we cannot stop there.

People want to defend cops and criticize the protestors by saying "all lives matter," but again, this is impossible until Black lives matter. I like to think of the #AllLivesMatter movement as a pie, but some slices are missing, especially the one for #BlackLivesMatter. All lives, including that of police offers (as corrupt as they are right now), cannot matter until Black folks can be treated equally, like other human beings. After all, the word "all" should mean all-inclusive, and not excluding anyone race, sex, orientation — you get the idea.

Honestly, it doesn't matter if there are "good cops" among the bunch, either. There may be a few bad apples, but yes, that does in fact spoil the bunch. Especially when the so-called "good cops" don't hold each other accountable for their disgusting actions (look at the three officers that watched without even a peep while Chauvin choked Floyd to death). And even if there are good cops who do hold each other accountable, we hear stories all the time about them eventually being let go for doing so (or worse), because the current system is so corrupt and full of systemic racism and sexism. Cops need to be held accountable for their actions — the entire police organization in the U.S. needs to be reformed from the ground up. This is ridiculous.

I'm angry. I'm frustrated. Racism should have no place in this day and age, but here we are. Things need to change. It's time to rise up. We didn't get where we are now by doing nothing.

No, you can't have #AllLivesMatter until #BlackLivesMatter.