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George Floyd’s Killing, Police Brutality and Outrage: America Says “Enough”!

Chauvin’s actions clearly show that he did not see Floyd's life worth protecting, but also that he did not expect to be punished for his actions

by Dr. Paul Rollins

Painting by Flavio Bragaloni

Today it appears that both ends of the protest spectrum are unacceptable for white America. Neither peaceful nor violent demonstrations are heeded, and both are deemed to be unjustified. On behalf of my community, I say that we are sick and tired of being sick and tired. Enough is enough. Worse, enough is already too much.

It is my firm opinion that Amy Cooper, Tom Austin and Derek Chauvin, the police officer who caused the death of George Floyd, are racist. If you hold similar views or sympathize with their actions, then chances are that you are equally racist and have knowingly or unknowingly caused harm or financial dis-empowerment to someone of color. I’m here to say: “enough is enough”.

The cops were summoned to Central Park by a woman aptly dubbed Central Park Karen, but later identified as Amy Cooper,  after she was challenged by a black man. The caucasity! A nearby sign clearly stated that dogs should be leashed. Her visible outrage reinforces a commonly held belief that white people do not like being challenged by minorities, particularly Blacks. This became clear when his black skin was weaponized. “Karen”, or Amy Cooper in the investment world, boldly stated on camera, “I am going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life”.

Why was civil discourse overlooked in this scenario? Amy Cooper then proceeded to fulfill her threat and displayed an Oscar-worthy performance, portraying the damsel in distress hoping to be saved by the NYPD. This could have ended horribly. Imagine if the encounter had not been recorded. Mr. Christian Cooper (no relation to Amy Cooper) could have been hauled off to jail or the morgue. Weaponizing blackness and falsely calling 911 should be treated as a hate crime in light of the contentious relationship between law enforcement and the black community.

In a previous incident, Tom Austin, a venture capitalist in Minneapolis,  rightfully lost his job and office lease after threatening to call the police on a group of young black entrepreneurs. His encounter was filmed, with Austin questioning the men about their presence in the on-site gym and whether or not they were tenants in the building. If so, what office did they belong to? Failure to comply with his outrageous requests was met with threats of calling 911. Mr. Austin, who had previously been involved in a similar racist episode, can be overheard saying, “there’s a whole bunch of people who don’t appear to…”. Add this to the long list of assumptions and micro-aggressions which oftentimes result in the assault of black bodies. Ironically, this incident took place in the same city where George Floyd met his untimely death at the hands of a bigot.

Derek Chauvin and George Floyd

It is my opinion that Derek Chauvin is a murderer and should be treated as such. His firing from the Police Department is simply not enough. His local police union was audacious enough to proclaim that the public should not rush to judgment.

But there are questions that should be answered: Why was Mr. Floyd robbed of his dignity? Why was he held down when already in handcuffs and even after being unresponsive? If he was being arrested for the alleged crime of trying to pass a counterfeit $20 Weaponizing blackness bill, he should simply have been directed into the police car. Was George even aware of the bill not being legit? How does the punishment fit the crime, especially since at this stage it was still merely an unproven allegation?

Chauvin’s actions displayed that he did not see Floyd’s life as one worth protecting. He did not expect to be punished for his actions nor his in-action failure to provide first aid as a first responder. Chauvin dug his knees deeper into Floyd’s neck, despite public pleas, as Floyd repeatedly said that he could not breathe. In his extreme distress, he even calls out for his mother, who has been deceased for two years. For almost 9 minutes Chauvin applied pressure to the restrained, non-threatening father of two. And what’s more, Chauvin was surrounded by three other officers. Nine minutes of oxygen deprivation for allegedly using a counterfeit twenty-dollar bill. This is America.

Covid-19 may have stopped everything but racism. Perpetrators of undeniable racist acts have pleaded for forgiveness which oftentimes is granted by the judicial system and White Supremacist sympathizers. Some have questioned the usefulness of the protests and riots. If my memory serves well, Colin Kaepernick was whiteballed and forced out of the NFL for peacefully taking a knee to end police brutality and the unjustified shootings of minorities. It appears as though both ends of the protest spectrum are unacceptable for white America. Neither peaceful nor violent demonstrations are heeded and both are deemed to be unjustified. When will enough be enough? Will those who were vocal in the ousting of Kaepernick voice their outrage now? I wouldn’t hold my breath. On behalf of my community, I say that we are sick and tired of being sick and tired. Enough is enough. Worse, enough is already too much.

 

 

 

 

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