You need to watch every excruciating minute of the 10 minutes it took to kill George Floyd.
You need to be nauseated by it. You need to feel the revulsion of it. As uncomfortable as I was watching it, and much as I wanted to look away, I forced myself to face the brutality and inhumanity. How can we truly be considered a civilized society when people are murdered in the streets like stray dogs by those who are supposedly here to protect us?
“Bloody Sunday” in Selma, Ala., took place on March 7, 1965, six months before I was born. Then, state and local police used billy clubs, whips and tear gas to attack hundreds of peaceable civil rights protestors. What happened in Minneapolis yesterday smacks of a familiar story in our nation’s history and exposes the fact that the current of racism has not slowed much over the past 54 years, if at all. Floyd lost his life at the hands of excessive police brutality in the wake of being detained for a non-violent offense. That’s more than not all right; that’s an egregious violation of human and constitutional rights – supposedly the foundation upon which we’ve built a nation.
What is as repulsive to me as these repeated acts of excessive violence against blacks is the excessive rationalizing by whites of the violence. “Well he possibly died from drugs not the knee to the neck;” “He was committing a criminal offense;” “Racism is a two-way street;” “More whites are killed by blacks than blacks by whites;” and on it goes. That’s blaming the one being persecuted for being the victim of racism. You might as well say, “Well, he deserved it because…” NONE of these “reasons” justifies killing a man, and does little more than to expose the prejudice bias – the hatred – in our hearts. A man does not deserve to die in the streets like a mangy dog for writing a hot check. The color of his skin is a non-sequitur.
I’m sure this and my post from yesterday, titled, “America’s Front Row Seat to Murder,” will continue to get more “yeah but…” responses. Save them, I am not interested. Nothing justifies racism.
I know that blacks are prejudice against whites, and I also know racism is actually more than a “two-way street” that exists throughout the world, among all races and for all time. It will continue until Jesus returns. But to a large degree the global issue of racism is irrelevant to the primary issue we have before us, blighting America and oppressing people in a nation that supposedly embraces liberty and justice for all.
George Floyd may well have been guilty of forgery and maybe even other crimes, but that is not justification for him to die in the street by capital punishment without due process and without dignity. Without a trial to determine the extent of his innocence or guilt, we can only determine one thing about yesterday’s horrific event: George Floyd is apparently most guilty of being a black man.
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