In Memory of George Floyd, One Year Later

24 May

George Floyd Memorial
George Floyd Memorial. Photo credit: nytimes.com

Today marks the eve of the day George Floyd was murdered by that police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. And, even though he was convicted for the murder, which is a good thing, we still have to overhaul the whole system of policing. We are hearing the range of ideas from reform to abolition, being that at its very root, policing served as slave patrol. I know Minneapolis is making some strides in this, as are other cities, in looking to funnel money being spent on policing to mental health and social services resources, like utilizing social workers, and community health workers, to transform the way we envision and enact public safety.

This evening, I will light a yahrzeit candle, a custom in the Jewish religion, to mourn the anniversary of George Floyd’s passing. The candle is lit to burn for 24 hours to remember and honor the anniversary of a loved one’s passing. If George Floyd was loved, instead of feared and vilified and seen as less than human, he would still be here today, as would be Rayshard Brooks, Breonna Taylor, Sandra Bland, Daunte Wright, Tamir Rice, Ahmaud Arbery, and on and on.

A few days ago, I re-posted Some Of Us White People, the first post I wrote after the murder of George Floyd last year. I asked us to look within and without to acknowledge where we are in our continuity of acting to change what needs to be changed to make this country free and safe for Black people. I don’t think I can keep repeating that I hope each one of us is staying awake and aware and active as we move through the spaces we inhabit each day of our lives. Because the alternative is, we are allowing things to remain the same, and we will forever be mourning from a distance, the loss of Black lives at the hands of police officers, while we retreat in the comfort of our white life bubbles.

Tonight, and tomorrow, I will honor the memory of George Floyd, and the day after, and every day after that, stay awake and aware and active, and it is my hope that you will, too. It is the only way.

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