George Floyd, a son, a brother, a human being


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

8 Comments

  1. WOW! What you have written brought tears to my eyes. It is powerful and provide a clear yet emotional action oriented response in respectful memory of a fellow human being who did not deserve to die in that brutal, cruel and inhuman way. May we be his voice and use our breath to bring about justice and healing for his family and all those impacted. Thank you.

  2. Thank you Dawn for your compassionate words.

    We must act now and support our allies to support us, many are willing but need courage to utter words never spoken before as my white friend said to me… “how are you feeling in this time?” His recognition of the impact this may have on me and his courage to even ask, opens dialogue which sometimes is hard to begin for our white colleagues.

    I am encouraged from today onwards, many of us stand together as opposed to apart !

    1. Thanks, Nesta – it wasn’t easy to write so I am doubly thankful to God for the impact it has had. I too am encouraged by the fact that people are reaching out to each other. Stay well, and remain encouraged.

  3. Thank you for your insightful response to the death of #George Floyd.
    The pain and anguish of #racialinjustice by fellow black men and women across the globe no longer bearable. Enough is enough. Justice for George Floyd is a matter for you and I to call out this injustice and may his death not be in vain
    @yemiosho

  4. Thanks. Dawn for this insight. I pray that there is a radical change and his name is not just a statistic, particularly as so many seem to focus on the looting and riots (which is a consequence of the killing), rather than the fact that one human being chose to kneel on the neck of another, thereby taking his life.
    May George rest in perfect peace (which unfortunately he was denied on earth!)

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