“Looking at that video – my heart broke and sank at the same time,” Brown said. “That video served as my final confirmation that I was doing the best work for my life by permanently leaving the United States.”
This is an incident which has been termed as ‘Blaxit’
While there are no official figures on how many people have left the country, black people have turned to social media, which has especially shifted to African and Caribbean countries, where some say they are majority Feel safe as part of.
For Brown, following her heart and living without fear of racism meant moving to the resort town 1,200 miles from the city, which she had worked as a detention officer since 2004.
She calls that move the best decision she has ever made. While Mexico is not perfect and has its own problems, she says, she has never encountered racism in a tourist destination made famous by the 1960s film “The Night of the Iguana”.
“They value me as a person. My appearance looks like value added to me here and I’m not afraid of the police. Can I imagine saying that?” Brown says. “I walk by the police with a gun in Puerto Vallarta, they smile and wave. No fear.”
He found disparities in the American justice system
When she was passionate about her career and loved her unit’s commitment, she called the disparities exhaustion.
“I looked so bad but we did so well,” she says. “Despite my effort and love, I understood that I might not do it any day soon.”
Still, the decision to uproot was difficult
Brown’s desire to join the criminal justice system was rooted in family trauma.
Her father was imprisoned in the California Department of Corrections for most of his life. She used that experience in her job to bond with young women under her professional care and to keep her role long after she was finished.
“I work in the criminal justice system to prove that I was not like my father. I did not want to be a statistic. I thought I wanted to help in ways that I could.” “I worked with the youth and approached them with love and fairness. I had lots of letters, pictures and words of thanks and it made me happy. They were my awards.”
Her father was released from prison in May last year and began a journey to gradually free himself from the criminal justice system that had imprisoned him. She says she visited new places – Iceland, South Africa, India and Mexico.
“I started traveling to see the good in the world, to avoid all the bad that I saw at work,” she says.
For months, she flirted with the idea of a move and even visited Mexican embassies in the US to get details on permanent residency. Then Floyd’s video emerged, and plans to move him into overdrive.
But even with urgency, it was a heart-breaking decision. She recorded a video of herself driving to work the day she left, thinking that she was making the right decision. He drove away and broke up a group of protesters demanding justice for Floyd.
She says, “The protesters are my heroes. They have their feet on the neck of true justice … and they are penetrating much deeper than they thought. They can just kill injustice,” she says .
When he quit his job and said goodbye to his co-workers, he was relieved.
“I walked away from my job … freedom of time, peace but more importantly my holiness,” she says. “Racism is something that I was forced into daily process both personally and professionally.”
He took over a new life as a life coach
Brown spends her days swimming in turquoise waters, uses “Spanglish” to explore her new community and work on her business as a travel blogger and life coach.
She recently received approval for permanent residency in Mexico, but does not plan to give up her US citizenship.
In the US, she has an adult son who lives in Arizona and a 16-year-old daughter who lives in Southern California with her ex-husband. Joining her after her school.
“My soul is happy. My soul is singing. My eyes are bright and I’m excited about living,” she says. “My change in fascination for Mexico and its culture has completely changed to positive. I feel loved and respected for here.”
Some countries lay welcome mats for Black immigrants
As resentment over police killings has increased in the US, some countries have rolled out the welcome mat for African Americans who want to avoid the turmoil.
Ghana granted citizenship to more than 120 African Americans and Caribbean citizens last year. The nation’s tourism minister held an event in June to mark Floyd’s death and used it as an opportunity to urge black people to seek refuge there.
The West African nation has also started a program called Return of the Year, which offers African American visitors a path to citizenship. As part of the campaign, Ghana saw the influx of African Americans, the first African slaves to step on American soil after four centuries.
Ghana’s Tourism Minister Barbara Ottat Gyasi said, “You don’t have to stay where you don’t want forever. You have a choice and Africa awaits you.” “We continue to open our arms and invite all our brothers and sisters at home. Ghana is your home. Africa is your home.”
Brown initially considered moving to an African nation, including South Africa.
However, after visiting both countries, she says, Mexico felt more like home.