It may seem like recent protests are the result of the murder of George Floyd it, but we humans don’t react to the past. We react to the future. What has people up in arms, isn’t the killing. It’s the horrid story about the future that is told by the reaction of the MPD to the murder of George Floyd by four of it’s own.
George Floyd wasn’t killed by one rogue cop. It took all four of the four staff members of the MPD on the scene to kill him. Two men leaned on his body and prevented him from moving or breathing properly. The third kneeled on his right carotid artery cutting off half of the already oxygen depleted blood supply to his brain. It was the combined effort of all three murders which killed George Floyd, while the fourth killer stood guard and prevented any of the bystanders from offering him aid.
Still, it wasn’t the concerted effort of four of the Minneapolis Police Department’s so-called finest in the killing of George Floyd that people are protesting about. It’s original reaction of the MPD attempting to exonerate the killers that bruised the conscience of a nation. The viral video that clearly shows the murder of George Floyd had been made available to the MPD within minutes of his murder. Between that video and at least five body-cam videos, it should have been blatantly clear that the death of the man was a wanton act of murder. Nonetheless, in the hours following the murder, the MPD released a statement that attempted to blame Floyd for his own death.. That press statement wrongly stated just about every material fact about the incident, beyond it’s initiation. Every lie in that public statement argued for the exoneration of George Floyd’s killers and against a proper investigation of his death. (the people who released that original statement should be charged as accessories after the fact, but that’s a different conversation).
In releasing that false statement, The Minneapolis police department sanctioned the murder of George Floyd.
If the MPD’s initial statement had said that four officers had been suspended over a questionable in-custody death, that an independent investigation had been started and that charges were being considered, this murder would have been a blip on the national conscience. It would have disappeared from the national airwaves by Thursday. Instead, we have national riots for two weeks, and it’s not at all clear when they’ll stop.
… And, to be clear: if the MPD had received similar videos showing four black men ganging up to suffocate a white police officer, the arrest warrants would have issued in minutes, not days.
The problem WITH “BLACK LIVES MATTERS“ IS THAT THE WORDS NEED TO BE SAID.
Black lives matter
Blue lives matter
White lives matter.
The difference is that only one of those statements needs to be said — repeatedly, and often falling on deaf ears.
Do you really think that George would be dead today if he was a white Real Estate Broker, or that the MPD would have tried to cover up such an obvious death? White Lives Matter.
If the video had instead shown four black men working to strangle a white cop, the arrest warrants would have been issued in minutes, not days — and it would have been four charges of first degree murder, not one charge of third. Blue Lives Matter.
But cops murdering a black man, in broad daylight, in front of witnesses?
“Lets just sweep this under the rug, shall we?” Black Lives (should) matter.
It was the fact that the MPD thought that they should and could cover up George’s murder that has people up in arms. ,,, The belief that it would probably work, because it had happened so many times before and was expected to into the foreseeable future is what has people up in arms. This was yet another modern-day lynching.
It’s the ongoing fear that this will happen again, again, and again that has people in the streets.
It’s the police convoys shooting paint canisters at people at home on their balconies; police cars plowing into crowds, officers arresting black reporters or firing rubber bullets and tear gas at them.
All of those happened in the past couple of weeks — and it’s caught the attention of white folk who thought that blacks were exaggerating.
Remember the white crowds the week before Floyd’s murder? White protesters some with guns barging into state legislatures, getting in the face of police, screaming at them and even spitting on them? Do you think that any of that would have been accepted in the week after Floyd’s murder? Did you see teargas being fired randomly into peaceful white, right-wing crowds?
What was different? It certainly wasn’t the seriousness of the issue.
The issue that has to be addressed here is that police forces around the country are functionally sanctioning the murder, torture and harassment of black people everywhere — the wholesale violation of civil rights on a systematic basis.
Remember that woman in Central park threatening to call the police on a black bird-watcher because he asked her to leash her dog? She knew that she had nothing to fear from the police. She knew that he did.
That’s a lower-level version of the problem, but it really is the same problem. 150 years since the US constitution was changed to give blacks the rights of a person, the persecution continues. — the knowledge that you could be, like Donald Trump alluded, shot dead in broad daylight on 5th avenue, and there might not even be a serious investigation. George Floyd’s murder and the coverup isn’t an anomaly. It’s just more blatant than most of the recent lynchings.
If you’re a white person trying to understand why these people are so upset, try imagining what it would be like having that worry … Not just today, or this week. Imagine having that fear every day of your life. Imagine being at least as scared to call for the police as you are of the criminals you want to call them for. The visceral fear that your child might be arrested for jaywalking, and then end up dead on the streets.
You can’t even call it Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, because it’s never Post. It never really goes away.
That’s what people mean when they say thing like “Living While Black”.