So we have heard, “George Floyd was a criminal!”

Yes, he was suspected of trying to pass a $20 counterfeit bill. In the United States criminals are allowed due process of the law. He was murdered in cold blood for all the world to see. A policeman kneeled on the neck of a handcuffed man lying prone on the pavement. And the man was black. While the man, George Floyd, cried out for his deceased mother, the officer, Derek Chauvin, looked away at cameras, his hand in his pocket, his knee on Floyd’s neck.

George Floyd is not a hero. He is a symbol of every black soul unjustly treated and killed by police, lynch mobs, or others because of the color of his skin. He also is a symbol of every black soul who suffers unjustly in housing, education, employment and health care. In this recent COVID-19 scourge, black people lose their lives at a much greater rate. Lower paying jobs, inadequate health care and lower education levels are contributing factors.

Suddenly, as if a smoke screen was lifted, eyes across the world were opened. Suddenly, after so many black lives were lost to police violence for so many years, citizens of the world cared enough to say “enough!” As if for the first time, the protests and cries for the last 400 years of oppression were broadly heard. There was outrage and protests, vandalism and destruction. Shame. Wrongdoers, many of whom were white and from afar, should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law and reparations made for the damages.

At Floyd’s memorial there was a cry by the Rev. Al Sharpton, “Get your knee off my neck.” The knee of oppression is not just by police; it is in housing, education, health care. This oppression is racist. It exists in every heart in this country to some degree.

What? You don’t mean me! I am not a racist!” Look deeper, friend. Where were we when injustices were done because of darker skin color? In line at the grocery store, in the community swimming pool, on a bus, on a train or on a plane, how did you choose your seat? The louder we cry, “I am not a racist,” the deeper goes the cover-up – to ourselves.

I have two very dear black nephews who were adopted into our family at birth. They each grew up in a very white culture. We were blind to their skin color. They were family. They, however, were very aware of their race, probably every day of their lives. They just did not share their pain with their aunt. I did not see their suffering in day-to-day encounters. Shame on me.

The new protests all over the world may just stem the tide. Representation from all ages and races marched for change. Maybe this time. Already legislation has been proposed with bipartisan support. Justice in Policing Act of 2020 calls for banning chokeholds; mandatory use of body and car cameras; a national database to track police misconduct; and investigations of misconduct done by a neutral party, not the police department itself. The bill also proposes that police would not have “qualified immunity,” which protects officers from lawsuits for civil rights legislation. Having a uniform code of conduct for officers across the country, as well as national records of officer misconduct would save lives. Presently, different states have different laws. If a law is a good one, it makes no difference who proposes it.

Nicole Watkins, in her June 3 article for “The Lily,” wrote, “Because when Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, Eric Garner, Philando Castile and Freddie Gray died, you screamed about businesses and broken windows instead of broken bones and ended life. You complained about Colin Kaepernick taking a knee during your precious football game but would not once speak up about the injustice he was kneeling for. When I said #BlackLivesMatter, you argued #AllLives Matter.” This time we all mean “Black Lives Matter.” It is not just an organization; it is a guiding philosophy. When black lives eventually matter, are valued, are no longer racially profiled, we will have taken the knee off the neck.”

Ann vonHoorn is a Tideland News Contributor.

(5) comments

David Collins

Ann is at it again . Instead of using a broad brush to paint with she uses a roller . No , I see a spray gun . Reparations , no way . I have never held anyone back nor did my Mom or Dad . How about you writing the first sizable check if it gives you peace . Be careful of what you say you want to ban . The anarchists are bound by no rules of engagement . This whole mess has evolved way beyond the call for equal justice under the law . It is now about mob rule and mob justice brought on by gutless liberal state and city governments afraid to do their jobs . Afraid that if they did , then they might be voted out of office . They would then loose the power to tax the industrious hard working people into oblivion in order to support the lazy and stupid potential voters . Well , the folks they have been supporting have turned on them and joined by anarchists under a false flag . As we have seen , these anarchists are starting to come for them now . You and I are next unless this insurrection is not put down .

David Collins

One more thing . The sir name vonHoorn is Dutch . The Dutch East India Company enjoyed a lively business in the slave trade and looting of indigenous folks world wide . Even Captain Jack Sparrow was branded after a run in with them , or so Disney said . Anyhoo , the point is that there just might be a bit of ancestral guilt in play here . Spreading out the guilt is a common ploy to reduce culpability . On reparations , who pays and who distributes said monies and to whom as well . There are no living slaves and no living slave owners about this nation . Sadly slavery is alive and well in selected areas of the world .

Misguided activists , if even only on paper or screen are a big part of this problem and remind me of the Limousine Liberals of the 60s that succeeded only at lighting a slow burn fuse that is exploding today . At least they are good at something .

SEABASS

This is kinda of strange! In 2017 there was 903 people killed by the police in the US! Of those 457 where White! 223 where Black! 179 where Hispanic, 44 was other. Now in 2018 it was 399 Whites killed, 209 blacks killed, 148 Hispanic, 36 Other! In 2019 370 Whites, 235 Blacks, 158 Hispanic, 39 other. And this year 2020 as of JUN 5 172 Whites has been killed, 88 Blacks, 57 Hispanic, and 14 Other! So how are the black being killed so bad every year compared to others?? These numbers are from Statistic.com ( People shot to death by police in the us by race) So no the all out cry is not true at all!!!

SEABASS

Here's one for you just look this one up!! ( Larry Elder: Where's Black Lives Matter when you need them?) Very interesting reading!! Lot's of facts being made here.

David Collins

If black lives really mattered one would think that the local leaders would strongly encourage them to clean up their act and do the things that lead to prosperity. Things like staying in school and taking it seriously , marry the girl Before making babies with no children “on the outside” as they say , be a real father , train for a real job or profession , do not do stupid things like drugs or anything that will get you locked up . Stop blaming others for your bad decisions , the blame lies in the mirror . Until this group of people wakes up , ain’t nothing gonna change .

But all this is our fault . Get a life .

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