George Floyd’s death at the HANDS and KNEES of the Police Officer, Derek Chauvin last Monday when Derek knelt on George’s neck for approximately nine minutes by suffocating him with his last words ringing in the ears, “I can’t breathe” has shaken up American society as a whole and has repercussions and ramifications that are reverberating till today.
Derek has been arrested and has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. It has also brought America to a standstill with a curfew imposed in 40 cities and according to some estimates(I say this since there is no word from The White House or the Secret Service), Donald Trump had to be evacuated to a bunker looking at the protests outside.
Just 15 hours ago there was a semi-truck which drove in the middle of the crowd consisting of thousands which were marching peacefully in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
There have been disturbing visuals and reports of arson and looting with a free for all and these incidents are eerily similar to what happened after Eric Garner’s death in 2014 under similar circumstances of Police brutality in Staten Island.
You might ask what prompted such action or reaction when the suspects were trying to resist arrest. It has been said that George was suspected of selling fake $20 bills. Eric, on the other hand, was thought to be selling single cigarettes from packs without tax stamps.
Race and racial tensions are not an overnight phenomenon but have been in the background simmering within ethnic groups with ugly overtones. I am quite fair and married a dusky lady and never felt the need to differentiate until my son was born who was also dusky.
It hit me for around five minutes and I just overlooked it as a passenger overlooking the skyline in an aeroplane. Colour has never mattered to me and God willing, never will. I’d much rather take the person on face value than try and have an impression looking at the colour of his skin or the way he speaks or the clothes he wears or how much money is he carrying in his wallet.
Racial overtones do not have a place in a pluralistic society which is democratic by nature and has law-abiding citizens. Movies like American History X, ghetto mentality brought to the mainstream by hip-hop artists, sportsmen kneeling, Megan Rapinoe refusing to meet the POTUS are reflections of a society not far off from reality but are the powers that be willing to listen when there is a concerted effort otherwise?
Kim Kardashian West, Billie Eilish, Rihanna, Demi Lovato, Lady Gaga, Dwayne Johnson, Jennifer Aniston, Cardi B, Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Marcus Rashford, Paul Pogba have all come up with respective statements at the pain and angst it has caused them and looking at the overall picture.
If the reaction to COVID 19 and George Floyd’s death is any indication then it would be interesting to see which side the electorate tilts come 11/3. The heart and mind both can’t be wrong when it comes to making a choice. This is coming from a guy who is living in a country governed by a right-wing dispensation.