Justice for George Floyd.
What is it when a man is killed in broad daylight on our tv screens in front of our eyes and we simply say 'not again,' before going back to our lives. How does witnessing a murder of a black man in America from our cell phone become so commonplace that we are simply willing to stare in horror and go back to our lunch and do nothing about it?
It is easy to distance ourselves from events not close to us or unfamiliar to our way of living, far away from our experiences of planting our spring gardens or walks with our dog. It is easy to believe that the killing of a black man in America has nothing to do with who we are and what we do with our time and in a continued cycle of black killings you would be forgiven for being numb to the George Floyd killing or the next one or the next.
Let's face it if a black man has been stopped on the street and apprehended by a police officer who just happens to be white, we are all going to think it is because he, the black man, has done something wrong. Police don't just stop men on the streets for no reason do they? As honest citizens we can't imagine an arrest or apprehension would be for no other reason than if a crime had been or was about to be committed. We believe in the police and their efforts to protect and serve and uphold the law don't we?
Well that's how we used to feel.
The recent death of George Floyd in the US had the potential to be another one of those 'oh no not again' deaths. If we didn't live in this digital age and hadn't actually seen Mr Floyd die in front of our eyes then maybe we wouldn't have been moved on this global scale to do something about it. If you haven't seen the video of the police kneeling on Mr Floyds neck it is heartbreaking. It is distressing in that George Floyd is obviously not alive as he is being filmed and people are arguing with the police in protest around his body.
I am not surprised then that this one black death was deemed one black death too many.
Once upon a time movements needed a leader who had the right amount of courage and empathy to lead them and tell them what to do to lead the change. Now individuals are leading themselves, they are tapping into their own courage. Individuals have started to question themselves about racism and injustice and human dignity and respect and the true meaning of liberty for all. Individuals are standing up for what they believe is the right thing to do and their friends, colleagues and neighbours are joining them, standing together in groups, communities or countries. Individuals are marching and raising their voices in protest for what they believe is right and just and appropriate. They want more equality, more justice, more listening, they want a movement.
No leader needed.
Maybe being shut away from our loved ones during the Covid -19 lockdown has stirred something within us and made us more contemplative and feel more connected and accountable to one another. After all beating the Coronavirus at its core is about accountability. Whatever I do in this time of Covid-19 affects you and whatever you do affects me. Maybe this understanding has spilled out into the global consciousness.
The whole world is standing up and marching and kneeling and crying and paying attention to understanding that when a man is being apprehended in the US what happens to him afterwards good or bad, isn't just his problem, it's all of our problem. Whether you are in Italy, Amsterdam, Britain, Ireland, Poland, Canada, New Zealand, Mexico, Brazil, Syria, Denmark, Germany, France or Australia, we are all getting it.
It is all for one and one for all.