A week ago today, a clearly deranged Minneapolis police officer killed 46-year-old George Floyd, an unarmed, handcuffed black man born in Fayetteville, N.C., who was already pinned down to the ground – in broad daylight, while knowingly being recorded by witnesses on the street.
The cop had and kept his knee on the back of Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, as three other officers let it happen, aided him by restraining Floyd down to the ground, and menacingly prevented bystanders from helping Floyd, as he begged for his life, repeatedly screaming “I can’t breathe” and calling for his mama, and as he pissed himself on the ground before dying in front of the entire world.
In its autopsy report released today, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner ruled Floyd’s death a homicide (asphyxiation from sustained pressure). The office said Floyd’s heart and lungs stopped functioning “while being restrained” by a law enforcement officer.
The cop, a white man with a long history of violence and underinvestigated complaints, initially was placed on leave, because white privilege is fucking real (ditto the other three officers, because so is blue privilege). All four were fired on May 26. The cop that kept his knee on the back of George Floyd’s neck was finally arrested on May 29 (keep in mind this happened on Memorial Day, four days earlier), and (softly) charged with third-degree murder, as well as second-degree manslaughter. A week after they aided in the killing of Floyd, the other three officers go uncharged.
If y’all are waiting for them to turn themselves in and help restore some sort of peace, I suggest you sit down. Cowards seldom own their shit.
This afternoon, I took our dog to Huntington Park; sat on a bench and sought to enjoy the warmth of the sun for an hour. Then, I heard the caucacious covidiot sitting on the bench to my left telling his friend on the phone about San Francisco’s stricter face-mask policy and admitting that he doesn’t care. “If that makes me an asshole, I’m an asshole,” he said.
I put on my sunglasses and mask, and left to get home and away from that boy.
Of course, I came home, and promptly ran into one of my new neighbors, who wasn’t wearing a face covering, even though we’ve been effectively reminded to do so by the HOA, but I guess boys will be boys, and some boys still think the rules don’t apply to them.
Both times I had to refrain because I was by myself. At the park I tried muttering something under my breath as I got up to peace out, but it was just so deflating to realize that some people will never get it, and won’t ever try to get it, my witty failed me. With the second dude, I offered the driest “Hi” ever, and got in the elevator and away from such blatant disregard for others. For me, as a neighbor. It’s like, sigh. Do your goddamn part, already.
But that’s asking too much of some white people, who take everything for granted. And that is the truth.
The fact that these two boys lack the discipline, and the tact, not to flout their white privilege for all to see and hear and endure, still, in this moment, would have made my blood boil yesterday. Today, on this first day of Pride, I chose to rise about it all, really rise above it all, and not confront ’em. A) That’s what the Devil wanted. B) I’m done getting into situations in which my dog can end up in the middle. And C) is for “cunts,” as in those fucking cunts ain’t changin’, so why bother, when I instead I can choose to lean on and trust on the white love and understanding and encouragement actually in my life.
I could have tried to shine my light on them, but end o’ the day, I’m not gonna invest in people that don’t care, who don’t dare to care and do and be better. Stupid don’t rise.
Wake up, America. It’s enough killing.
Enough children have died. Enough moviegoers and clubgoers and worshippers have been killed in your name. Willful ignorance and a systemic will to keep you down and out has bolstered much too much racism and sexism and xenophobia, as well as this darkness and despair.
Take a beat. Choose to shine. Then, fucking shine. And vote in your best interest and that of the most underserved in your communities.