The pandemic has highlighted inequities in the society of the United States around race, ethnicity, national origin, and socioeconomic status, problems that have existed in our country since before its founding and that have insidiously endured through the centuries.
A few days ago, white police officers in Minneapolis, Minnesota killed George Floyd, an unarmed black man, while horrified onlookers tried to intervene and recorded Mr. Floyd’s final minutes and death.
Our nation, already mired in grief and denial from COVID-19, is now grappling again with deadly racism. George Floyd’s death at the hands of police officers is appalling but, sadly, not unusual.
There are protests against racism and violence/death by law enforcement in cities around the country, remembering George Floyd and calling for justice while adding the names of other black men, women, and children who have been killed or injured by police. Depending on the location, there are different victims who are commemorated, as many cities have seen this type of violence.
The demonstrations have been peaceful during the day and have even seen protesters wearing masks and leaving space between them so as not to spread the coronavirus. In the evening, though, the anger sometimes gets out of control and results in looting and arson from the protesters and flashbang grenades, teargas, and pepper bullets from the police.
All racist incidents are bad and should be universally condemned, but they aren’t and racism continues and mutates and injures and kills.
Again and again.
I wish I had some helpful insight to offer that could make a difference.
All I can do is reiterate the universal message to treat others with respect, recognizing their inherent dignity.
Now and in the future.