Throughout our daily lives, time is important.
To some extent, our moving about the countryside is all based on time. We have certain times to be at certain places.
However, on Monday, May 25th, time stood still.
Three Minneapolis police officers stood still, and almost silent, as Derek Chauvin, another police officer, had his knee on the neck of George Floyd. It lasted 8 minutes and 46 seconds – the time it took Derek Chauvin to kill George Floyd.
The death of this Black man will be etched in the minds of Americans and people all over the world, forever. The disrespect and gall shown for life by these four men is reprehensible. They will live out the rest of their lives in agony and in shame.
The charge against Chauvin is murder in the 2nd degree. The other three officers have been charged with aiding and abetting in a murder. Already, opinions abound as to what will happen in the case.
If you look at the video, it is clear what Chauvin was doing. The other three officers, according to reports, were relatively new to their jobs.
How much this will factor in his murder, will be one of the questions.
In a memorial, given in Minneapolis at North Central University, Reverend Al Sharpton gave a riveting and powerful eulogy. His consistent theme throughout was to get off the necks of African Americans.
Our opportunities and basic existence have been hampered and hindered by a part of America. This part of America does not want to see African Americans succeed in any way, shape, form or fashion.
Sadly and pathetically, many of them will never change, because their hearts have grown cold and hardened.
Poignantly, at the end of his eulogy, Reverend Sharpton asked everyone in attendance and watching to stand for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. This punctuated the brutality of this senseless killing.
Now, many in all walks of life have been moved to speak up and speak out about the killing of George Floyd.
Gregg Popovich, coach of the San Antonio Spurs, said, “For White people to see how nonchalant, how casual, just how everyday-going-about-his job, so much so that he could just put his left hand in his pocket, wriggle his knee around a little to teach this person some sort of lesson and that it was his right and duty to do it in his mind. I think I’m just embarrassed as a white person to know this can happen.”
The marches and demonstrations do not seem to have an end in sight. Back in the day, the marches I participated in were mostly Black people. Now it is different. They are quite racially diverse, which is a telling sign.
Young, White people are engaged and are speaking out about the evils of racism. I believe strongly they will be instrumental in bringing about racial reconciliation. They have come of age, in an era of integration, and many of them do not see us as the enemy. They have Black friends and many of them do not see any stigma attached to it.
Dr. King said, “Justice for Black people will not flow into society from court decisions nor from fountains of political oratory. Nor will a few token changes quell all the tempestuous yearnings of millions of disadvantaged Black people. White people must recognize that justice for Black people cannot be achieved without radical changes in the structure of our society. The comfortable, the entrenched, the privileged cannot continue to tremble at the prospect of change to the status quo.”
Men and women, of good will, must lead the charge in making reforms that will benefit all of us because America is hurting right now.