George Floyd

Today I stood still for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. It was a long 8 minutes and 46 seconds. I committed to the 8 minutes and 46 seconds in honor of a man that I did not know. I did it in honor of many men and women whom I did not know, but who have perished in similar ways. During those 8 minutes and 46 seconds I thought about how terrifying it must be to spend at least half of that time pleading for the most basic necessity and seemingly human right, the ability to breathe.  

A few days ago, I couldn’t breathe. It wasn’t because someone had a knee on my neck, but it was because I was in a group discussion about someone else having a knee on their neck, which led to the discussion of several men and women, specifically black men and women, black like me, who have died at the hands of the very people who are supposed to protect. It has been happening for years.  

Many of us thought that 2020 would be much better than it has been so far. Coronavirus, murder hornets, threats of war had us all rethinking that. Now the blatant reminders of the undying racism in this country are here to further rub salt in the wounds that the other traumas have left. It has got to get better.  

We can pretend to be blind to the fact that in 2020 racism still exists, but I’d only be lying to myself if I did that because I have experienced it firsthand on numerous occasions. It has got to get better.  

Police brutality, even if one were to factor out race, is a huge problem that needs to be fixed. A lot of people have died at the hands of police when death wasn’t necessary. The 8 minutes and 46 seconds that an officer had his knee on the neck of a man lying face down on the ground with his hands handcuffed behind his back was more than excessive. It has got to get better. There are too many names to name, however I will name one of the men who have been the topic of many conversations recently, Mr. George Floyd. My heart aches for you and your family.