George Floyd: Another Black Life That Didn’t Matter…But Should Have.
George Floyd’s death proves yet again that the Dis-United States of America is nothing more than a Failed State
Sitting from afar observing the unfolding chaos brought about by the unnecessary death of George Floyd, it’s easy to label it just another “horrific incident” because, obviously, any preventable death is.
The reality of the situation is that it paints another layer of tragedy over the fading canvas of the Dis-United States of America, highlighting yet again another black life that didn’t matter.
To recap, this is how George Floyd was killed. The images in the video are disturbing, so prepare yourself if you’ve not watched it.
With Floyd’s murder — because that’s what it officially is now that Derek Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder — has come one of the biggest uprisings of people we have seen in some time. Americans of all colours, creeds, ages, political leanings across America have risen in protest against the injustice of Floyd’s death, but more broadly because America is leaving too many people behind in its quest to be “GREAT” and has done so for way too long.
All this, even as the US President — who I refuse to name because I’ve decided it’s time we stopped giving him any presence anywhere when possible but particularly online — rails against the supposed enemy, China, and the way it is approaching the Hong Kong situation.
Railing against the big bad commies, even as the country he is allegedly leading, which we all know is a fallacy because no one has seen any true leadership from this imposter, is falling apart before his eyes.
A Failed Social Experiment, A Failed State
An amazing summary of the current situation around George Floyd, but also more broadly about the slow demise of the USA as a failed system and failed state, was spelled out on Anderson Cooper’s 360 Podcast on May 28.
Jump to about 39 minutes in and listen to Dr Cornell West, who gets so succinctly to the dark, broken heart of the American problem in a way that’s both a bright revelation and incredibly bleak.
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And there we have it, a sad but undeniable truth about America.
I was studying at UC Berkeley when the 1992 Rodney King decision came down, and while I escaped the violence that erupted that night, the next day the imprint of it was clear for all to see. As we emerged from the safety of our locked-down dorms, we saw the burnt-out stores, the damaged cars, trees ripped apart, rubbish strewn everywhere. We saw the anger of a people who were yet again laughed at by a system that has entrenched far too many in a never-ending cycle of poverty and lack of opportunity.
I can’t deny that I don’t understand and don’t approve of the looting aspect of protests, although I’d hazard a guess that, as with any movement of people on any issue, there are always opportunistic actors who go this way. And yet as Cornell points out in the podcast, as have many other commentators I’ve listened to or read in the past week, the violence is understandable because it comes from people who feel they have no other way to bring about change.
Is There A Way Out?
This is the complicated part.
As Floyd’s unnecessary murder yet again lays bare the festering wound of inequality in America, it becomes increasingly impossible to see a way out.
I know that’s pessimistic, but it’s truth, right?
And, as Cornell points out, even as African Americans have found their way into positions of power from where they might encourage some kind of change — remember we had a black president not that long ago — we still have seen nothing tangible or long-lasting to undo centuries of the entrenched social dislocation capitalism has imposed on millions, even billions, of people, not just in America but the world over.
Despite this, I do believe the human spirit remains unquenched, and people will take to the streets to protest that a life — black, white or any other colour — DID matter.
Sadly, the life of George Floyd cannot be brought back. George Floyd is gone, felled by a system that has had its foot for too long on the neck of an underclass merely so the privileged can maintain their privilege.
And, sadly, more lives will be lost until such a time that visionary politicians find their ways into the corridors of power and bring about real change rather than making a lot of noise about change while instead entrenching themselves in the establishment to protect their personal interests. (To be clear, this is NOT me singling out any specific politician but rather a system that puts off course even the most well-meaning of people.)
Rather than putting a foot on the neck of an innocent man for eight minutes until he could breathe no more, a foot must be placed squarely on the neck of a corrupt and failed system that has been allowing this to happen for centuries.