Demonstrators in at least 30 cities across 16 states in the US have been protesting against police violence and racism since May 25, when George Floyd, an unarmed 46-year-old man, died after Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, held him down with a knee on his neck though he repeatedly pleaded, "I can't breathe", and "please, I can't breathe". Chauvin has been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
The protests which began urging the authorities who initially turned a blind eye to serve justice, took a violent turn as many used arson to be heard. Burning down the Minneapolis police precinct where Floyd died may have given the world an adrenaline rush. However, looting and destruction of property, tossing social distancing norms amid a pandemic took the protests farther from its true purpose, leaving it maligned and misunderstood for the authorities, helplessly trying to maintain order.
Not to mention the police vehicles ramming into protesters, or the alleged pepper spray attack on a little girl who was doused with milk to calm down, the scars of this rebellion will remain forever. Standing on the same road for justice, the Miami police on the other hand garnered respect for kneeling in solidarity with Floyd as the protesters approached them. Anger turned into tears. And all it took was a gesture.
Indeed ‘Black Lives Matter’. The archaic conditioning of racism prevails even at a time were rockets are being launched in space faster than finding a cure for a viral outbreak. As Michael Jordan said, “We need to continue peaceful expressions against injustice and demand accountability.”
Why peaceful expressions? Because that is exactly what Black Panther wanted. The first superhero in mainstream American books became the universal black voice in the entertainment arena. The George Floyd protests saw a bit of Batman, Joker and Spiderman, but having a Black Panther onboard would be ‘Marvel-ous’, given the fact how the rioters have been acting up like his nemesis Killmonger.
For those unversed with the narrative of the film, Killmonger, cousin of T’Challa wants to go against the peaceful ideology of the prince of Wakanda, and establish a revolution by using the high-end technology to conquer their oppressors.
And with the enormous support to these protests, celebs, especially in India trying to cash in by opining to make headlines, the real Black Panther is Floyd’s brother Philonise, who told CNN, "I understand and I see why a lot of people are doing a lot of different things around the world. I don't want them to lash out like that, but I can't stop people right now. Because they have pain. They have the same pain that I feel. I want everything to be peaceful, but I can't make everybody be peaceful. I can't. It's hard," he said.
The rage is understandable, the blacks have had enough. It took mere 24 hours for any news outlet to cover a racist Karen moment at the Central Park followed up with Floyd’s death in police custody. And despite Atul Kasbekar being trolled for saying “All Lives Matter”, he only seconds the voice of Black Panther, who saw the bigger picture.