EAST ORANGE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The death of George Floyd is causing people to call for justice in many forms.
As CBS2’s Cory James reported Thursday, a spoken word poet is using his talents and platform to change perception and ignite change.
You heard his voice back in February as the nation celebrated Black History Month, but now you are hearing from him at a time of tribulation.
“They are saying ‘no justice, no peace, not black versus white.’ Today, the march is for right to stomp out the wrong,” Hayden Greene said.
Floyd’s death hit home for Greene.
“That man was murdered and that is exactly why everybody is angry,” Greene said.
Greene is the director of multicultural affairs at Manhattan College and a spoken word poet. He’s also a black man who says he, too, has been wrongfully targeted by police.
“I’ve actually been pulled over while I was already parked, and that’s a scary and traumatic way to live one’s life,” Greene said.
This new platform is how Greene told CBS2 someone who is white told him this:
“I can’t connect with what you’re going through, but I can find trauma in my life and understand that that’s a constant trauma for you,” Greene said.
It was an “I see you”… “I hear you” and “what you say matters” conversation, one Greene is having with his 7- and 11-year-old daughters. Both have been left with many questions as they’ve watched protests unfold outside their Brooklyn home.
“What did we ever do to deserve to be hated that much?” Greene said.
As Greene works to educate and comfort his girls, he is finding comfort in the sheer presence of unity exploding across the country.
“It’s really heartwarming to know that this is not black people against white people; it’s everybody against racism and it’s about time,” Greene said.
And in time, he said he hopes to look back one day and say this was the tipping point, a pivotal moment, and when everything changed to make us better.