Florida. Florida. Florida. Wall. America.
Florida, the land where hanging chads and the brother of a president got to determine the victor of that presidential race (no surprise how that “choice” would go, right?). “As Florida goes, so goes the Nation” is a phrase, coined around the politics of Florida. Generally, the phrase could be a blessing (great weather?) or a curse.
“A Florida Man…” usually leads off many unusual news stories. We laugh. But there’s much more to the Florida stories. In Florida, where #StandYourGround is the deadly & duplicitous law of the land, examples of injustice abound.
A Black woman fires a gun into the air — to defend herself against possible assault— and SHE gets a multi-year sentence. #MarissaAlexander
A Florida man — killed a Black man over a parking space, as the Black man was defending his mate & child: #MarkeisMcGlockton
A Florida SWAT team kills an unarmed Black man. #JamesLeatherwood
A tragic mass shooting at a Florida school, prompts a panel to recommend overturning a law, to allow more guns in schools. More guns across the country are a desire for this administration and its party, remember.
A Florida student improves her S.A.T. scores; after seven months of tutoring, online courses & review materials, (recommended & frequently used strategies). And, the testing company declares that she must have cheated. #KamilahCampbell
Now, a Black Florida woman — AT WORK — may be fired by for defending herself against a man who attacked HER for following corporate policy — over drinking straws? #YasmineJames
Evil tests the waters, to see what it can get away with. Each victory, seeds the next evil act.
Just like lies. When someone gets away with one lie, they feel emboldened to tell more. Because of one lie (“Mexico will pay for the wall”) millions of the nation’s federal workers and contractors are being denied pay because the president — and his followers — want to keep Brown people from coming into the country. They focus on a wall, to keep people from seeking legal entry & refuge. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands overstay their temporary visits — which is illegal. Millions more people are losing access to services (work and play), because of one lie that was repeated — ad nauseam.
These are multiple assaults against multitudes of people, particularly people of color, more particularly, Black people. Seemingly, separate acts of disrespect against people in one locale, give way to multiple acts against multiple people in multiple locales — through false narratives, disinformation and simple disrespect. These acts are a clear disregard for fair treatment of individuals and, by extension, multiple people — notably Black women & men. These assaults, when tested and proven effective on some lives, get replicated upon the lives of others (see histories of: Native/Indigenous peoples; Enslaved Africans; Japanese internment camps; Jewish Holocaust; Black Tuskegee experiments; eugenics in Black lives; Henrietta Lacks; the poor; etc.) .
The disrespect and disregard for human lives (Women; Poor; Black; People of Color; LGBTQ+) will keep growing in frequency (in Florida or across the nation) unless we make a collective decision to arrest it, try it, convict it & banish it. The more each disrespectful act (lies are especially disrespectful) goes without challenge or conviction makes room for the next one. Each injustice and lie, anywhere must fuel outrage everywhere. We cannot afford to become numb to crimes against freedom, justice, humanity or truth, itself.
Hold all entities accountable. Expect justice and equitable treatment & access for ALL people. Expect the truth and convict the lie. 2019 and 2020 elections need to move us forward as a nation — so, choose wisely. An equitable nation only continues for a new Congress, new state houses, new city halls, when we demand the elected reject the ambivalences held by the OLD seat-holders of power. Progress will only continue with YOU involved. Hold the elected (and hold us) more accountable. Protest AND act with phone calls, letters, sit-ins, boycotts, tweets, blogs. The liar or unjust will continue if they aren’t challenged. The defenders of truth and justice can’t hear your demands if you don’t say speak up. Silence is consent. Don’t let Florida happen to you.