Saturday, June 6, 2020 | It sucks we live in a country where we have to ask for permission to live. Protesting is our way of asking nicely.
Saturday’s demonstrations were D.C.’s largest since the May 25th killing of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis.
Temperatures hovered near 90 degrees as protesters of American racism, inequality, Trump’s existence, and police brutality gathered along the newly named Black Lives Matter Plaza (as of Friday, June 5th), stretching from The White House up 16th Street NW for half a mile. Protesters also gathered at the Lincoln Memorial, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, the Tidal Basin, and Capitol Hill.
There were no arrests. (@wtop reported)
I have never felt more proud of my family and friends and the thousands of strangers for marching to keep brown skin breathing. I protested with my two younger brothers, three nieces between 15 and 20 years old, and a cousin. We were pumped. We were prepared. We were loud. I felt like we were heard. Throughout the day, protesters marched and chanted.
“Black lives matter!”
“What’s his name? George Floyd!”
“Say her name. Breonna Taylor!”
“No justice, no peace. No racist police.”
Fellow protesters offered free water, snacks, and hand sanitizer frequently along the way. I’d estimate that 70% of the attendees I saw wore masks.
I was able to demonstrate years of pent-up frustration and aggression peacefully, and communally, which honestly, was much more important. For hours, we protested amongst all kinds of people, of all ages, advocating for black lives: whites, Latinx, Jews, gays, Arabs, doctors, nurses, educators. [These are representative of the specific signs I witnessed.] It’s incredibly relieving to know that I’m not the only one feeling this anger, the sense of hopelessness and fear living a life in static brown skin. Not that I would change it even if I could.
I love being black y’all. I love it more than words can say. We’re born with a cool that, despite all efforts, can’t be copied. We are a magically rich people. But you already knew that. America knows that. The world knows that. But here I am, still explaining it, still saying it out loud for the dense.
So keep saying it. Say you are phenomenal, keep announcing your accomplishments, big up your milestones. You deserve to live abundantly, but first, we must live. Don’t be silent. You are to be celebrated. Say it loud. You know what comes next.
Click below for sights and sounds from Saturday’s Protest at Black Lives Matters Plaza in Washington DC. (June 6, 2020)
Insana Collins is a DMV writer, publisher, daughter, sister, niece, aunt, cousin, and friend. She is passionate about family, black lives, and women’s lives. See more of her writing and movie reviews at InsanaLive, and for even more, check out her helpful YouTube videos.