Johnson-Powell: Time has come to harness emotions
A clarion call to harness your emotions,
Thank you to all our first responders, educators, and frontline essential workers, you rock! Let me start by saying, I am pro police, police officers and first responders run deep in my family. This letter may not be printed in the paper, but it helps to write my feelings down on paper to harness my emotions first. I cannot sit back and remain silent anymore. I am hoping this letter helps whoever reads this, and you pass the message on.
The killing of George Floyd, that I witnessed as I sat watching it play out minute by minute in my living room. I said, “Oh Lord, not again,” I have got to say something! I give accolades to the mayor of Minneapolis, Jacob Frey, for his actions and words regarding George Floyd’s death.
To the officer that knelt down on the neck of George Floyd, you should have harnessed your emotions. I ask that as you go through life, you harness your emotions and implore your training. To all first responders, I implore you to do the same. I do not believe you were trained in this way.
To the officers that stood by, as George Floyd took his last breath, you tell us “if we see something, say something,” but you should do it first. I am pro police, good police officers are necessary and we need them to support and help us in times of need.
To the citizens, protesting and marching is fine and it is our right, but we must harness our emotions as well. Not to act in a violent way, we must discipline ourselves. We are all hurting, but we must stop the looting, rioting, and fighting. The Rev. Dr. Martín Luther King Jr. said, “Rioting is the language of not being heard.” I implore you to hear the cries of the hurting; we are raising our voices so the message is heard.
George Floyd, I couldn’t sit back any longer, because it could have been my husband of 47 years, my grandson, my son-in-law, or my godson. It could have been the children in my church youth department, which I have worked with for the last 39 years. The children from my registered daycare center of 11 years. The children that walked into the nurse's office of Carver ECA, where I served as a certified nurse's assistant for 13 years. I can remember on the last day of my nursing assistant training, at the Amarillo ISD Education Support Center. We watched a film on nurses working in the office. In the film, a little boy was asked, why do you like nurses? ”He replied, because they never lose their cool.” I remember in that moment, I asked the Lord, to help me keep my cool. I will say it again, we must harness our emotions.
We must have urgency for handling injustice. There seems to be no urgency when it comes to handling “us.” How much more evidence do you need? If a regular citizen committed the exact offense the officer committed against George Floyd, it would have resulted in an immediate arrest. This is the difference in the level of urgency, which must be addressed. We do not have to rush to judgment for anything, but you must proceed with a sense of urgency to address the acts of violence that play out right before our eyes. Put the fire out to stop the burning, so we can be heard. We are all someone’s child, treat other mother’s children the way you would want someone else to treat your child. I applaud Mayor Frey, for saying life matters and George Floyd’s life matters.
Let me say it again, I am pro police, but police officers must do right by the citizens of the communities you are sworn to protect and serve.
Rosie Johnson-Powell is a resident of Amarillo.