A white man’s thoughts and feelings of helplessness regarding the death of George Floyd…
I wasn’t planning on sharing my thoughts about George Floyd’s death and certainly not racism in America as I don’t pretend to be any kind of expert. But this has been weighing so heavily on my heart the past few days, it’s all I can think to write about this morning.
Just in case you don’t know the story, the police were called on George Floyd for using a counterfeit twenty-dollar bill. The incident ended with a police officer suffocating and killing Mr. Floyd… despite his pleas and bystanders pleas for mercy. A quick check at CNN or FOX will give you no shortage of information.
Video footage released thus far, does not show any evidence of Mr Floyd resisting arrest. But even if there was evidence of that, it appears very clear that the officer was beyond excessive in his use of force.
Protests and riots have now erupted all across the country because of the apparent police brutality.
I have complete respect for most police officers. It’s not an easy job they have putting themselves in harms way on a daily basis. I believe the vast majority are good, respectable and upstanding human beings.
But obviously, there are the small percentage that abuse their power which leads to this type of travesty.
The biggest reason why I was going to refrain from writing or addressing it publicly is because I have no advice to give or solutions to offer that provide any meaningful solution.
Should officers have diversity training? Of course. But that won’t prevent this from happening again.
Should officers be prosecuted and sent to prison if they’re guilty of murder? Of course. But that won’t prevent this from happening again.
I could give you many ideas but none that will prevent this from happening again.
There are no shortage of ideas presented when this type of racism rears its ugly head, but none that have prevented this from happening again.
It Has To Stop
There are so many heartfelt messages of “it has to stop” throughout social media. And it does. I just wish that would prevent this from happening again.
What is the solution?
I wish I knew.
It’s hard not to feel helpless in the matter.
Personally, I can’t pretend to understand what it’s like to be an African America in the United States. I can’t pretend to understand what it’s like to be discriminated against because of the color of your skin. I can’t pretend to understand what it’s like to be on the receiving end of brutal racism.
George Floyd’s death hurts my heart.
But I can’t pretend to understand the hurt, or the fear, or the helplessness that so many African Americans live in because of this kind of brutality.
Here’s what I know…
Had it been me using counterfeit money in that store as a white man, I would be alive today.
While I don’t have a crystal ball, I’d bet money that if I were in Mr Floyds shoes, the officer would have likely assumed I didn’t even know it was counterfeit and I would have left with a pat on the back.
Obviously I don’t know that for sure. But here’s what I do know…
If you deny that, you have your head shoved so far up your ass you’re blind to the real world, stupid beyond belief, or both.
My belief is that the vast majority of people, and police officers, are good human beings and not diseased with racism in their heart. We have certainly gotten better as a country and as a society as a whole and made great strides.
But, my friends, we still have a long way to go.
I hope George Floyd’s death will serve as a catalyst for racism to lessen the evil grip it has on our society.
While I have no solution, I know that putting my head in the sand and ignoring the situation serves no one.
If you’re reading this right now, regardless of the color of your skin, you are my brother or sister and I love you.
P.S. – This episode has caused me to take a look at what I want to stand for as a man, as a parent, and as a leader. Feel free to check out my post on Core Values if you’d like some insights on that.