Editorial

EDITORIAL: America Must Turn Away From its Evil Ways

George Floyd, the 46-year-old Black man murdered by a white Minneapolis police officer, was laid to rest Tuesday in his hometown of Houston. Floyd’s murder has been the catalyst of a movement that is galvanizing Americans — Black, White, Latinx, young and old, and now even those who stand apart from their fellow men and women in blue, and top military brass. United, they are marching, organizing and speaking out on behalf of Black lives.

Every action over the past two weeks since Mr. Floyd died on May 25, under the pressure of a white police officer’s knee pressed down on his neck for more than 8 minutes, has resulted in a reaction focusing on the injustices Blacks have faced in America for more than 400 years. Amid a COVID-19 pandemic that is disproportionately infecting and killing Black people, Mr. Floyd was reportedly among its non-symptomatic victims. Yet hundreds of thousands are protesting and marching around the globe with masks while confronting others without them in the name of justice for George Floyd.

The police encounter that led to Floyd’s untimely death is a common thread that connects him to centuries’ old violence and lynching of Black men. The protests and looting that erupted soon after the report of his death remind us of Blacks’ response enraged by a system that has historically and persistently treated them unjustly and unfairly.

Activists and politicians are now debating legislation that will better train police, reform policing, or defund police, while the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation is calling this the double pandemic — morbidity and mortality to unemployment and bankruptcy. Corporate America is pouring “guilt” dollars into coffers of civil rights organizations, while organizations such as the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies are strategizing to ensure employee hiring, contracting, and corporate leadership are addressed.

Also on the table are issues of housing discrimination, education inequality, and racism on college campuses, and job losses disproportionately impacting Black workers due to racism and compounded by the coronavirus pandemic.

We are extremely saddened over the loss of George Floyd and so many others who have lost their lives like him. We believe his living will not be in vain as long as the myriad of issues his death has brought to the forefront not only will demonstrate that Black Lives Matter but that America has turned away from its evil ways.

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