Before last week, there was no reason why I should have heard of George Floyd. Along with millions around the world, I watched as George Floyd; an African American man lay face down in the street while a police officer, Derek Chauvin placed his knee in his neck while another officer stood by doing nothing. That. Picture.
I don’t know if George Floyd committed a crime of forgery or not but as one pastor said it certainly wasn’t a capital crime, and he didn’t deserve to be tried on the sidewalk for it.
George Floyd’s death represents decades of systemic racism, pain, and frustration. Such is the public outrage that by Saturday evening there were over 500,000 posts on Instagram with the #georgefloyd. I saw posts from people who said, I’m white, I don’t know what it is like to be black but, I stand with you.
In a video on Instagram, Beyonce has demanded justice for George Floyd. She appeals to her 147 million followers to sign the petitions at change.com; colourofchange.com; wecantbreatheinternational.com; NAACP. The target for signatures on change.com stands at 10,500,000 – as of this morning, there were over 10,000,000 million signatures.
From globally recognised names such as Micheal Jordan, Jamie Foxx, Lewis Hamilton, Taylor Swift, Naomi Campbell, Lebron James, Barack and Michelle Obama to students in New Zealand taking a knee the call is loud, the call is clear, the call resounds – enough is enough. Change is demanded, change is needed.
George Floyd paid the ultimate price of his life; let’s do our part to ensure his death is not in vain. Let’s ensure that our protests and demands for change are peaceful, lawful, and bring about a seismic shift. We can learn a great deal from the activists, Rosa Parkes, and Martin Luther King.
To the family of George Floyd, I am so very sorry for your loss.
To us, racism is endemic in our institutions and workplaces, the challenge before each of us is will we address it constructively, resolutely, and consistently? Or will we turn a blind eye?
Finally, Oprah’s Twitter post sums up what I struggle to say: #George Floyd: We speak your name. But this time we will not let your name be a hashtag. Your spirit is lifted up by the cries of all of us who call for justice in your name!
George Floyd, we remember you. Your death shall not be in vain.
Picture of George Floyd – mirror.co.uk
Dawn H Jones