George Floyd has been the victim of racially motivated police violence. Why the case should make us all angry and why #BlackLivesMatter is so important.
A man is killed on the street. He is begging for mercy. He begs for his life. But who can come to his aid if the perpetrators wear police uniforms themselves? What if the people who take his life are those who are supposed to protect us?
This is how it happened in Minneapolis in the USA. The man who lost his life was 46-year-old African American George Floyd. The video of his death went around the world.
They are recordings that are difficult to bear. Floyd is lying on the floor, a white policeman kneels on his neck. For over 7 minutes. Again and again, you can hear how Floyd pleads for his life. “I can’t breathe. Please don’t kill me.”
George Floyd is far from an isolated case
Floyd’s death triggered a wave of rage in the United States that led to protests across the country. People take to the streets almost every day in all 50 states to demonstrate against racism, racial profiling, and police violence, even days after the murder.
Because Floyd’s death is far from an isolated case. We remember Michael Brown who was killed in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014. Or to Eric Garner, whose death caused international attention in the same year. Black civilians are repeatedly victims of violent and discriminatory police officers.
According to organization statistics “Mapping Police Violence“1,099 people died in the United States from police violence in 2019, and African Americans are three times more likely to be victims than white Americans.
On social networks, users tell the stories of countless black men and women who were killed by the police. To do this, use the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter. The associated movement “Black Lives Matter” was created in 2013 and campaigns against violence against black people or people of color (POC).
Peaceful protests resolved with tear gas
The protests in the United States began peacefully after George Floyd’s death, although there is quite a lot of anger involved. Meanwhile, however, the media are increasingly reporting on riots and escalations during the demonstrations in some cities.
Be on Twitter Videos spread that show how the police are using tear gas and rubber bullets against the demonstrators. In a recording, You can even see the New York police forcefully driving an SUV into a crowd. They are terrifying shots.
Twitter users, who are there even during the protests, report that the situation often only escalates with the intervention of the police. Peaceful blockades are violently released and people are arrested just because they are there.
US President Donald Trump publicly sided with the police. He described the demonstrators in one Post on Twitter as “terrorists” and announced that they would use armed soldiers against them.
For a photo op outside a church in Washington D.C. On Monday, Trump even had demonstrators “tear” with tear gas and gun violence, such as ‘Vox’ reported.
#BlackLivesMatter: We all have a responsibility
The cases of police violence may be fewer, but racism and racial profiling are as topical as ever for us.
People of Color experience discrimination and violence on a daily basis based on their skin color or origin.
This dangerous ideology, also known as “white supremacy”, extends all over the world. Voices against police violence worldwide, against racism – against a system that protects murderers, just because they’re wearing a police uniform.
All of this must finally be put to an end. And that’s up to each of us. We all have a responsibility to act against racism and xenophobia. Both publicly on the Internet, as well as towards people in our lives and everyday life.
A quote from civil rights activist and author Angela Davis sums it up:
“In a racist society it is not enough not to be racist. We have to be anti-racist.”
How you can help:
There are many ways to support the # BlackLivesMatter movement. Here you can find information on petitions, fundraisers, protests and other resources: https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/