Can we connect for a moment?
Can we agree on the whirlwind of emotions so many of us have had to experience during these times? Can we simmer in our reality, but try to understand where we started, where we are, and most importantly, where we are going?
We can mull over the tragedies consuming our minds daily. We can scroll through our social media feeds, and our cable television stations to be bombarded with all that is occurring. We can talk to our friends and family and figure out what changes need to be made, and just where we stand (let’s be real, humans are pretty opinionated).
There is so much information accessible to us today. So many facts ready to be unhinged, and the circumstances we are all forced to focus on, whether we want to or not, are not going anywhere anytime soon! So let’s tackle it. Let’s get to the nitty-gritty, and let’s gather our thoughts enough to get to the “other” side while also acknowledging; we are in this together.
If we really allow ourselves to, we may just notice that we are building community through tragedy. That is if we concede to what the world is trying to tell us.
Racism is a centuries-old experience endured by Black and Brown people on a daily basis and has been a topic of discussion for decades. It is not new, and sadly, recently there have been several unfortunate demonstrations having been illuminated in such a painful and public way.
As outsiders, as viewers of video content, we are unable to ignore the fact that video has taken center stage in our lives. And on May 25, 2020 because of our connection with video, something revolutionary happened. A singular video left us helpless and opened us all up to a current reality. While most of us accessed the video from the comfort of our own homes, once again, we witnessed an individual gasping for air, while making the statement, “I can’t breathe.” This statement had been heard before and in a similar situation. Although heard before, this time ignited something.
As a result, The Black Lives Matter movement received an injection of adrenaline as thousands joined together to begin protesting in major cities in the US. The video seen, the helplessness felt by many, and the recognition of historical mistakes played a major role in the realization of a movement made to produce what we all should understand, Black Lives Matter.
If you watched the George Floyd video, a black man died under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer with the purpose of apprehending him, but single-handedly killing him with a choking measure police have been able to legally enforce across the nation. Although, “I can’t breathe,” had been heard before when we witnessed the video displaying yet another black man, Eric Garner, at the hands of officers being killed, this time it was different. This time people finally joined together to make a statement…We are in this together and we are tired.
The day after the death of George Floyd, protests across the country in major cities were projected across every major television station. Protestors on the front lines, signage in tow, cellphones set to Instagram and Facebook Live. There was a purpose for their protests and each individual wanted to make themselves known.
Crowds rolled in by the thousands. Diversity at its best; White, Black, and Hispanic bodies joined forces, walking the streets around the country. Young, middle-aged, and seniors walked side by side, masks on ready to speak their minds. There was a point to get across. Each individual was standing among others with the same beliefs and knowing – it is time for a change and we are in this together. Graciously, the world witnessed it all play out through any number of video outlets.
Centuries ago, obviously video didn’t exist. Decades ago, video was limited. Pre-recorded content at best. Today, we have to consider and recognize just how much video has played a significant role in evolution – not just in technology, but in life.
As content continues to be permanently available, one must ask, if video, in its heightened and HD form was practical ‘back in the day’ would the world be in such a tumultuous place today, because, well, our actions would have been captured, released, and forever accessible. Historical figures could have been dethroned and like so many political figures and most importantly, in the case of police officers now, video captured, can and will be used against you.
Some may agree, some may not be compelled to believe in the former, but please take heed to the positive. Video provides proof. Video seizes the opportunity to see what needs to be seen, and sharing it, especially in this day and age is what creates a new kind of community whether it be via CNN, FoxNews, MSNBC, Instagram, or Facebook. It’s international, it’s local, it’s real and it ties us all together, no matter your location.
Just like Public Enemy’s Fight The Power video was here for us to see in the nineties, and the Power to The People video by John Lennon from the sixties, movements through video will continue to ignite community, connection, and a resounding realization that we are in this together!
We are living in a movement where a diverse group of individuals stand in powerful solidarity, showcasing true community, and we will see it firsthand through video content that will be available just as long as humanity is.