SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — A Sacramento State lecturer in the Ethnic Studies Department said there is a next step after the protests and demonstrations over racial injustice have died down.
While there have been countless cases of unequal treatment of black people over time, the killing of George Floyd was the tipping point after many recent incidents that made national news. Among them was the delayed investigation over the killing of Ahmaud Arbery by a former law enforcement officer and his son and the profiling of Central Park bird watcher Christian Cooper by a white woman.
“All these previous incidents were just a boiling point for a lot of people and their frustrations,” said Sacramento State lecturer Rashad Baadqir.
Baadqir helps lead a monthly discussion group on race attended by a diverse group of over two dozen community members. It’s a forum for constructive dialogue for race relations but he said he does not discount the power of actions taken by demonstrators.
“We definitely need to keep the momentum that’s going on right now,” Baadqir told FOX40. “One of the things, if you study this historically, is that we tend to drop off by distraction.”
It was 28 years ago that the acquittal of police officers who beat Rodney King caused rioting and looting in Los Angeles, an event that greatly affected Baadqir and his career.
The King beating was also caught on video. The difference now is that social media is linking people with common interests — and common anger.
“This generation today with social media, they really want to be engaged a lot more and they see these recurring issues going on that are across the country in every type of community,” Baadqir said.
Beyond the protests, Baadqir said the hard work of addressing racism in social institutions, not just law enforcement, must begin. It will be a lengthy process of education and meaningful dialogue.
“Multiple years, might possibly even generations, sadly, but we really have to get invested into this in terms of moving forward and creating a more equitable type of society,” he said.