American society still lacks the will to admit there is something fundamentally wrong when we can witness the death of a person by another person while they’re running away or while they’re begging for mercy. No one wants to pause and recognize the innate wrongness of what has taken place. No one with enough heft demands that everyone stop and listen. Everyone needs to stop and hear that our black brothers and sisters “can’t breathe.”
Somehow our country lacks the stomach to say this is wrong. When we can see them dying and still some debate whether this is wrong, our whole capacity to identify good and evil is what needs adjustment. Our first reaction should be to seek justice for the blood of our brothers that cry out from the earth. We cannot be silent, or we tacitly allow for the sanitized phrase of George Floyd dying from the results of a “medical incident,” in a “police interaction" to persist.
Pedestrians pleading for him and his own words, brought no change in expression, no change in pressure, no change of action on the part of any of the officers. Eight minutes pass.
The four officers have been fired subsequently thanks to public outrage over the video, but no one has yet been charged with causing his death despite knowing who, when and how. Investigations on the State and Federal Level are ongoing. It’s true, we are a nation of laws and procedure and such things are important and even necessary to ensure due process is observed. Were there this reflective pause and hesitancy in investigations involving crimes the norm, George Floyd might still be alive.
When will our country stop pretending we don’t need some systemic reformation of how we want police to protect, serve, investigate and when necessary, arrest?
Answer: When we have leaders unafraid to hold all of us to a higher standard, a greater calling.
It should be unnecessary to say racism is always wrong, and racism is something we will always have to both be vigilant against, and mindful of, but it is, because too many people don’t think it’s real enough.
Too many people think if we talk about racism being a grave moral error that hurts all of humanity and continues to destroy the promise of this country, we’re somehow engaging in white hand wringing guilt or virtue signaling.
Racism is a toxic weed that poisons the garden of the American community. It hurts the children whose dreams die before they finish school when no one expects anything of them. It hurts the families of fathers and husbands and sons who might not come home. It hurts the mothers, wives, daughters and sisters who see the problem ignored time and again.
It hurts our government, schools, families, friends, churches, parks; it hurts our everywhere all the time. We’re all our brothers keeper. We owe it to our brothers, to love them better, to protect them better, and serve them better, in every arena of life. We owe it to ourselves and to each other because, “He’s human bro,” to come together and work to be part of that great coalition of this country that wants it to be good as it was meant to be, but never yet quite has been.
We owe it to our future, to make sure everyone in this country can breathe.