Shenandoah University student, Mass Communications
"I was used to the headlines, I was used to family and friends being angry, and I was used to the names of the dead being talked about for a month or so and then vanishing. Then that all changed."
As a black man in America, I have become accustomed to hearing the tragedies that happen to African Americans every day. “White Atlanta cops shoot dead a 27-year old black man as they give chase after wrestling with him”. “A Black Man Killed by NJ State Troopers”. “White Bar Owner Who Shoots and Kills 22-Year-Old Black Man”. As horrible and as sad as these headlines are, the more horrible and sad truth is that I was used to these things. It seems that the death of a black man in America is becoming increasingly common and sadly at one point in my life I accepted that.
I was used to the headlines, I was used to family and friends being angry, and I was used to the names of the dead being talked about for a month or so and then vanishing. Then that all changed.
The death of George Floyd happened and unlike the other headlines and countless other black men killed, this was different. Seeing his death, his murder triggered anger in me I had never felt before. The anger changed me, it fueled me to step up and make a change.
The change I felt inside me is the change I intend to spread nationwide. George Floyd’s death changed my ideology of accepting what is happening to black people. I now am standing up and doing something about it. His death made me realize that I no longer wanted to sit and watch silently and watch a black man after black man being killed unjustly. I no longer wanted to only support a cause for a few weeks or months and go back into silence. His death changed my viewpoint from sitting in silence to standing and shouting for a cause I believe in. Since his death, I have done what I would never have done before. I have stood up to the superiors at my school and demanded change, I have reached out to the NAACP wanting to spread my cause, and I have been more vocal about injustice and inequality in my community than I have ever been.
My name is Langston McCatty, a student at Shenandoah University, and I will no longer be silent but speak up and demand change. I demand equality, I demand justice, and I demand others to stand with me and do the same.