Woo boy, it’s been a week. Yesterday’s post dug into Amy Cooper’s 911 call on Monday fabricating a threat from an African American man in Central Park. Watching her amp up those tears for the operator turned my stomach. Watching the swift reaction in news and social media restored a bit of my faith in humanity.
Except across the country in Minneapolis a black man named George Floyd was murdered by four policemen later that day.
Police officers received a call from a grocery store claiming Mr. Floyd had used a forged check. Somehow in the process of taking him into custody – again, for allegedly using a forged check – Mr. Floyd ended up handcuffed with his hands behind his back and pinned facedown to the pavement. Two officers held him down at his back and legs while former Officer Derek Chauvin knelt on the man’s neck. Mr. Floyd pleaded with them saying he couldn’t breathe, that his neck hurt, that his body hurt. He was pinned for more than six minutes until he went still and closed his eyes. The four involved officers were fired on Tuesday, but that’s a far cry from justice for what they did.
Just in case you’re not sure if skin color matters, if you’re thinking people make a big deal over a few bad apples, take a look at protests we’ve seen over the last month. Primarily white people have stormed streets and Capitol buildings. They’ve been armed, some dressed in combat gear, some have screamed right in police officers’ faces while the cops stood firm. But what happened on Tuesday when unarmed people gathered to protest at George Floyd’s arrest site? Riot gear, tear gas, and rubber bullets.
If you’re white and believe in equality you cannot sit quietly by in this America. You can’t simply fume at the injustice or retweet a few #BlackLivesMatter messages and move along. We’re either racist or actively anti-racist, and the lives of black people literally rest on your decision. Please visit this document for a list of anti-racism resources today.