George Floyd and th...
 
Notifications
Clear all

George Floyd and the Mirror on Humanity

 

Manuel Akinshola
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 5
Topic starter  
George Floyd and the Mirror on Humanity
 
 
We all heaved a sigh of relief yesterday as the jury returned a guilty verdict on Derek Chauvin, the ex-cop who murdered George Floyd by kneeling on his neck for almost 10 minutes.
 
Ordinarily, the event culminating in the judgment would have been an American affair: Oh yeah,  it happened in the US and it's their problem. But the universal reaction to the killing of George Floyd last May, aside from reinforcing the belief that the world is indeed a global village, it signified a unified response on man's inhumanity to man. There were protests and condemnations in virtually the four corners of the world - from America to Africa, and from Europe to the Middle East. The spontaneous worldwide reaction to this murder hardens my faith that our world still recognizes evil when it sees one. It convinces me that evil is evil, in Africa as it is in Europe, the Americas and the Middle East.
 
But beyond the recognition of the universal concept of evil, the worldwide protests following the killing of George Floyd particularly struck my mind in one direction: it confirmed that the evil of police brutality is universal. As I watched the protests last year, I realized that many protestors all over the world saw George Floyd as a rallying symbol against the same evil. Many of these protests used the George Floyd incident as a 'point of contact' to draw public attention to the evil in their own domain.
 
Yes, in the US, the death of George was seen as another instance of the recurring evil of racial inequality, of the suppression and domination of people of color. However, in many parts of the world, it symbolizes a revulsion against police brutality, against excessive use of force by security agencies, and against the suppression of people's voices using state-sanctioned force. Again, the uninspired and almost spontaneous worldwide reaction suggests to me that this evil is present in every society. I CAN'T BREATHE was nothing but the vocalization of the fears of millions of people worldwide.
 
And what has George Floyd taught us? Many lessons. But the one that ranks highest to me is the role of the 'innocent bystander'. As a prelude, you and I may never have known the truth of what happened to George Floyd were it not for the ordinary people who vociferously challenged the police officers, who confronted the dastardly act, who called 911 to report that they just witnessed a murder by police, and particularly who chose to record this happening and showed it to you and I. In this instance, the 17-year old Darnella Frazier who recorded (and uploaded) the 9-minute 29-second long video, is my heroine.
 
These 'neighbors', I've come to discover never knew George Floyd. He was not their relation, kith, kin, friend or colleague. They had most probably never met George in their entire lives. But they saw humanity being debased; they saw life being devalued; they saw the human worth being degraded; they saw the blood being debauched. And they chose to act. They chose to record it for posterity. They chose to defend humanity.
 
And, back to the lesson from George Floyd: if such similar degradation of life were to occur in your presence, would you have defended it? Would you have acted? Would you have protested it? Would you have recorded and informed the world about it if you think you are powerless to act, at least?
 
This Floyd's event is a mirror on humanity, and it will show the world what action you take  when next you see another George Floyd being debased in your community. It will reflect when you walk away.

Quote
Share: