If you follow my blogs you know they’re normally light. I talk about the current book I’m promoting or the flowers blooming in my garden. But today, I had to say something serious.
I lived through the race riots of the 1960’s. I was young and idealistic. I saw the plight of people who had been held down for so long and I wanted to help. I’m not as young or as liberal as I once was. I’ve worked hard and raised kids and sometimes I think I’ve become less kind. Life will do that to you. But the race riots all over our country again are killing me – bringing back some old feelings. We, as Americans, have already fought this war once with the Civil Rights Movement. We don’t need to do it again.
I don’t know the full story of what happened to George Floyd. There are a lot of stories floating around out there. But I know one thing, the man who knelt on his neck had been up on charges of abuse 19 times before (That number comes from a story I read. I can’t confirm it). He should have been tossed off the force at least 19 times and he wasn’t. He was out on the streets in a position of power and he didn’t need that power. There was one story about the fact that Mr. Floyd and Officer Chauvin had a history – they’d worked security together in a bar. That would add more depth to what happened. But I do know that the officer who knelt on Floyd has been arrested, as he should be. There will be trial and he is innocent until proven guilty.
I don’t know if Mr. Floyd resisted arrest. But let’s pretend he was pink with purple spots and tried to kill everyone around him. Whatever he did he didn’t deserve to die like that. And what of the other police and onlookers with cameras. Why did they not stop it? One cop, no matter how big and armed, could have been overcome by that many people. George Floyd didn’t have to die that way. And now, people are angry. They should be.
Our constitution gives us the right of peaceful assembly. The main word there being peaceful. The riots that are taking place all over the country are far from peaceful. People want to be heard. But burning property of hardworking people who had nothing to do with this tragedy is not the way to do things. I saw pictures of Minneapolis and protests led by the Amish community there. Peaceful but dramatic. When was the last time you saw a protest placard in the hands of an Amish woman in a long gray dress? The people have had enough.
It is time the US government, and local police, take a look at how this type of tragedy is being handled. The last thing this country needs is another civil war and we are on the brink of one – with a pandemic in the background. We’re better than this.
We may need a little Desiderata, the poem by Max Urhmann, read here by Lorene Greene. https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=desiderata+poem&docid=608015748047307066&mid=ABA8B0B5EBD3F6DC7396ABA8B0B5EBD3F6DC7396&view=detail&FORM=VIRE