George Floyd: My Response
It’s been over two weeks since the brutal murder of George Floyd and I’m only now able to write about it. My initial response alternated between rage and numbness, as I was catapulted into Black PTSD—in no condition to write a blog that would properly honor Mr. Floyd. I am betrayed once again by my country’s broken promise of liberty and justice for all.
I feel deep gratitude to the seventeen-year-old bystander for the cellphone video that went viral. The call-in by the secondary police officer was cold and matter-of-fact, belying the brutality being witnessed across America in real time. Were it not for the concern and quick action of the surrounding witnesses, this case would probably go unnoticed as a routine stop with accidental death.
My heart is warmed by the police officers who took a knee with those who protested peacefully, a spontaneous gesture of unity in the absence of unifying executive leadership at the federal level.
I give two brief sentences to the looters, not wanting to honor their actions, for they do not honor Mr. Floyd. Although I do not condone the looting, I do understand it as an eruption of rage built up over centuries of marginalized America.
I am inspired and uplifted by the level-headed integrity of the Floyd family. In the midst of their grief, and surely their anger, they spoke out against violence, and kept their focus on a mindset that would ultimately lead to solutions.
Mr. Floyd was martyred in the cause that would expose to our nation and to the world, the element of police culture that continues to perpetrate harassment and criminal behavior against Blacks. These rogue cops are fueled by their entrenched belief in white supremacy. I am comforted to see the large numbers of White demonstrators who abhor the misdeeds of their own race and stand in unity with their Black brethren to correct the national injustice.
We live in transformative times, but I offer these words of caution: inevitably, “breaking news” will shift to another topic, another issue. We must remain steadfast in our demand for criminal justice reform that will truly impact the systemic mindset and deliver the promise of equal treatment under the law, honoring the memory of George Floyd and those who died before him.
Amy, the “breaking news” has just turned to one more unjustified murder– that of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta. I watched three young lawyers for his family speaking tonight, June 13th, their having just returned from the funeral services for George Floyd. They sounded as weary as I remember Dr. King sounding when he was only in his late thirties. The list of cases that they handle relating to murders of black men by police is appalling. This is a wearing, exhausting process to get to core of the intractable, institutionalized hate, yet it is also an unsettling time for those justifying racial hatred. We are likely to see more acts of desperation by some police. It will, unfortunately, continue to be our breaking news with those who are desperate to prove themselves men, who need a pernicious sense of superiority to feel themselves worthwhile, and who act with gun wielding fear because they believe their own nonsense and are devoid of empathy and the ability and willingness to defuse troubled situations.
Sane voices are providing approaches to reconciliations and standards that might provide us a way through. We must pay attention. We white folks have got to listen, listen, listen, and give up the sense of innocence that denies our perpetuating “the sins of our fathers.”
Thank you for your unfailing determination to inform and to teach. This world needs many people with your grace and determination to guide us to cultural understanding and mutual respect.
Thank you, Barbara, for your in-depth analysis of the core of the problem, and your steadfast push for justice..
Amy thank you for sharing the emotions of anger, disgust and love from the depths of your gut. This article about the murdering of George FIoyd is so stirring. I’m beside myself as we journey through this scenario of seeing another black/brown person killed due to police brutality. Unfortunately the outrage fizzles and little change emerges. We/I must continue to fan those flames of passion in stopping the police abuse and other systemic forms of oppression. God help me to look at my own passed and present offenses of bigotry. Thank you for your continued work in the movement of gaining equal rights for black/brown people. Thank you Amy for your Extention of Love to all!
Thank you, Rosaria, for taking the time to offer such a heartfelt response.
Amy, I so agree with you, as usual. Thank you for putting your thoughts and feelings on paper for all of us, way better than I could. Best to you!!
Gisela – Thank you for encouraging my blog from its inception.
Thanks Amy for your writing. Rhea
So happy that you continue to follow my blog, Rhea.