I have refrained from commenting on George Floyd’s death all this while because I don’t have the full context. Then yesterday I saw the video clip of the police officer putting his knee on George Floyd’s neck on WION news channel and got totally disturbed. I never watch these kind of clips and I think they should not be aired. Its inhuman and deeply disturbing. I can’t imagine what Floyd’s child(ren) will feel as they see the clip. The psychological scars don’t go away, especially when its a parent/spouse/child. I decided to write about this today because I also saw the peaceful protests turning into looting and vandalism by certain people and the harsh police reaction to it.
I have always admired the US of A. I feel its the one country in the world that is a symbol of what man can create. The scientific advances, the wide roads, public utilities, and their commitment to individual freedom is unparalleled. There are huge issues too – racism, consumption driven culture, broken relationships and a political leadership trying to rule the world, through any and all means.
Personally I haven’t faced racism in the US, except on a couple of occasions – at the airport once, just after 9/11 and once at a restaurant. At the airport every non-white flyer was pulled out for extra checking and my being in a saree didn’t help at all. Following that experience, I just wear jeans or track pants when I am in an American airport ! The restaurant experience was more nuanced and my colleague told off the guy at the counter and things got better. The US is truly close to being an egalitarian society. Its a melting pot of all kinds of people. With my limited context, I feel, this outrage following George Floyd’s death is less to do with racism and more to do with the uncaring attitude of the policeman. There are of course many other issues that are simmering and this incident just pulled the lid off the cauldron. The pandemic leading to massive job losses and the unbelievable death toll, elections around the corner, the gun culture, teenage pregnancies, school dropouts, fake news, social media, …… many of these things just played into the flareup.
I totally support protests so long as they are peaceful, but they seldom are. There are political parties, self serving individuals, and HNI’s who use these protests as a way to further their cause. The vandalism and looting is just not acceptable and that it is happening in the US feels even more terrible. Attacking policemen is a total no-no. There are legal avenues open to punish erring policemen but attacking them just breaks down the law and order. So who are these elements or what are the factors that have turned these peaceful protests into violent ones ? Thats the big question the American society needs to answer.
RIP George Floyd. May your death serve as a reminder that all lives matter and everyone has a legal recourse to settle disputes and differences !
Black Lives Matter, White Lives Matter, Brown Lives Matter, Yellow Lives Matter, Animal Lives Matter …. All Lives Matter. As I write this statement, I am also thinking about the pregnant elephant which died in Kerala after being fed pineapples filled with crackers …. I want pineapples filled with crackers to be fed to the perpetrators so that no one ever thinks of such cruelty to any animal again. No mercy. Animal Lives Matter. All Lives Matter.