MA Criminology student Alex discusses his feelings about the recent arrest of Derek Chauvin.
I want to dedicate this post to all the black lives that have been lost to police brutality. I will never be able to have the same experiences that any black individual goes through due to their race. However, living as a minority myself, I understand the fear that our Western societies fabricate towards us minorities; that our marginalisation is normal.
After the conviction of Derek Chauvin, I was furious about the second-degree murder charge; it was obviously first-degree murder, although I am happy we have another racist removed from the police force and our streets.
Nevertheless, we cannot get caught up in the idea that one heteronormative officer has been caught, and then convicted for being a racist murderer. It is every day that we need to use to talk about all our lives, not simply what we have 'standardised'. In fact, we need to move away from this 'standard', how can we even suggest this as a standard?! I am disgusted by the way that marginalisation of black individuals is still so normative. This is not the life anyone should have to live.
I want to discuss one of the most important pieces of work, which was done by W.E.B. Du Bois. Within this research, Du Bois was tasked with investigating certain ‘deviant’ individuals who were labelled as ‘The Philadelphia Negro’. Du Bois discovered within this research that it wasn’t the issue of The Philadelphia Negro, but one of (what he coined) the . Through Du Bois establishing this, he helped recognise the intrinsic realities of racism within America and across Western societies. Thus, when looking at cases such as George Floyd, or the shooting of Daunte Wright during the trial for the , this recognition of the ‘color line’ becomes contemporarily evident too. This is the obvious issue that we need to change, it isn’t a question of “what can I do”, it is instead the question of “why do we desire within the West for a white; heterosexual; middle-class; non-disabled identity”, when in fact, the majority of individuals can not perform this ‘ideal’.
How are we living in a world that genuinely allows people to die at the hands of trusted individuals?? I know it is those ignorant individuals who perceive that Chauvin and the accompanying officers were ‘doing their job’. However, I question here, “how?”. How can anybody perceive that this is any form of employment when you allow someone to die. This is just ridiculous. It is blatant racism caught out, again, which has been enacted by a trusted individual, again. This repetition of illicit behaviours by those within such legal bodies as the police force are reoccurring consistently. Do not believe that racism is a small reality, it is a disseminated; aggressive; fixed; marginalising lived reality that so many social actors have to experience for the benefit of the irrelevant, racist comments perpetuated by specific, uneducated individuals in the West.
Please remember, the most important thing to do when you see racial oppression is to STOP it. Speak out on these realities. Give more jobs to ethnic and sexual minorities. And crucially, love is love and people are people- that will never change.
Black Lives Matter
The views expressed in this article are those of the individual.