“On May 25, Minneapolis police officers arrested George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, after a convenience store employee called 911 and told the police that Mr. Floyd had bought cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill. Seventeen minutes after the first squad car arrived at the scene, Mr. Floyd was unconscious and pinned beneath three police officers, showing no signs of life.” – New York Times.
Today we reflect on the criminal actions conducted by law enforcement that caused the passing of George Floyd. The excerpt taken from the report highlights the sad, brutal, and all too familiar feeling of black lives being taken in this country. Let us remember that the George Floyd tragedy is not a singular moment in American history, but his death does represent the continuous brazen actions that have led to so many Black lives being taken. Unjust actions that were taken based on the color of their skin.
As our community ponders on how we can properly honor the anniversary of George Floyd's death, our thoughts may be met with frustration and mental fatigue. What was witnessed on May 25th, 2020, was inhumane and evil. A law enforcement officer with his knee on George Floyd’s neck, while 3 other officers just stood there as George Floyd was losing his life. The great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr stated, “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”. Our hearts mourn for the lives impacted and lost because of criminal behavior conducted by law enforcement.
Furthermore, as we acknowledge the anniversary of George Floyd’s passing, we also reflect on the recent tragedy in Buffalo, where at least 10 Black people lost their lives, and 3 were wounded in a racially motivated mass shooting. Akin to the actions that led to George Floyd’s death, this incident, too, is not a singular moment in American history. Collectively, these crimes serve as another reminder of an unfortunate truth: racism still exists, and the American people have much work to do!
We now call for a moment of silence to honor all the lives lost to police encounters and for the lives lost due to unjust actions spurred by pure hate and racism. A call of action is imperative as well. We must demand accountability for criminality and evil doing, accompanied by justice for victims and their families. We also ask our allies for their continued support; we challenge you to speak up when you witness racist actions on display.
“It’s up to all of us — Black, white, everyone — no matter how well-meaning we think we might be, to do the honest, uncomfortable work of rooting it out.”
— Michelle Obama
Lastly BUILD community, a community that represents Black Excellence, we must continue to stand together. Let us encourage one another to hold our heads high and press forward, so we can pave the way to better the future for our people. - DLB
Peace and love,
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