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Fijians in the US hope good sense will prevail amid protests

June 1, 2020 4:50 pm
As the eyes of the world remains fixed on the United States, following days of violent protests. [Source: The Associated Press]

As the eyes of the world remains fixed on the United States, following days of violent protests, we can today say that Fijians and other Pacific Islanders have also been targeted by the police due to their race.

Following the death of George Floyd, an African-American who died after being arrested by police outside a shop in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Footage of the arrest last week shows a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeling on Floyd’s neck while he was pinned to the floor.

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Fijians living in the US say, they are hoping that racism comes to a grinding halt, because the minorities have always had to face this issue.

It all began with a report of a fake $20 bill that led to George Floyd losing his life and leaving America not so great.

28-year-old Taraiyasi Waqa Jnr says for Fijians residing in the country it comes as no surprise that people of color have been subjected to racial vilification by some.

“Given the history of this country sometimes we are targeted. There have been some incidences where I have been targeted by Police, there have been some incidences I believe my sister’s been targeted her now husband has been targeted you know and it just opens your eyes to the racial inequality.”

He says coming from Fiji, has taught him to continue fighting hatred with love and peace.

“This is an issue that has been going on since the Jim Crow days and it’s just the fact that you have to try and act back with as much kindness as you can in a way. Because don’t give them a reason to think that what they already think about you is true. That’s the important thing.”

For now as looting, shooting and protests continue, these Fijians are only hoping that good sense prevails and the peaceful protests get to the authorities and no person ever has to say I can’t breathe, just because he has been pointed out because of his race.

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