In the last few months, all news channels were stuffed with information about the coronavirus pandemic. Some of them tried to get other news, but they could not find anything more important than the increasing coronavirus stats all over the world. However, recently an incident diverted the journalists’ focus, giving them an opportunity to cover news that did not involve the widespread virus.
It was the death of a 46 years-old African-American man, George Floyd. The incident gained attention when people came to knew that a white police officer killed Floyd during an arrest in Minneapolis. The factor that he was a black man and was killed by a white officer led to a worldwide protest with the tag #BlackLivesMatter. Here are all the details about that incident, along with the information on the current situation of the protests.
During his early life, Floyd was arrested several times for crimes like drug possession, theft, armed robbery, etc. In the year 2009, he was sentenced to a five-year term for the crime of home invasion. He spent almost four years of that term at the Diboll Unit and then got paroled in 2013. After a year of working with Resurrection Houston, in 2014, Floyd moved to Minneapolis to find work. In Minneapolis, he worked at various jobs. He was recently working at a security job, which he lost due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Then on May 25, 2020, Floyd was charged for passing a counterfeit grocery bill of $20. The clerk of the store called the cops, and they tried to arrest Floyd. During that arrest, one of the officers put his knee on Floyd’s neck for almost 9 minutes, which choked him to death. The reports show that even when Floyd went motionless and lost his pulse, the officer reduced to get his knee off his neck. That means if they had taken some action on time, the man might have been saved.
When the news of “Black Man Killed By White Officer” started flowing on channels and social media, people raised their voice against the police. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many groups avoided gathering in significant numbers only to maintain the social distancing rule. However, that did not stop them from standing in the protest as they started the online tag of #BlackLivesMatter, and begin posting different types of content to speak in favor of George Floyd.
In a condition where almost everyone was stuck in their houses from the last few months, nobody imagined that this protest for saving black lives would take such a turn. No place in the US has NOT shown any kind of protest. In large cities, thousands of people are gathering while small towns are showing support in hundreds. Another interesting fact is that the US is not the only place where people are speaking up. People from all over the world are now participating equally in the protest against this wrong act.
Usually, when something like this happens, people from the victim’s community stand up in favor of them. The other people either keep quiet or participate in lesser numbers. But this time, the situation is entirely different because white people are participating in the protest in equal or more amounts. That simply shows the seriousness of the offense and how people from everywhere are supporting black lives.
People from around the globe are seen coming up on roads with banners of black lives matter. As said above, small towns are showing support with smaller groups, while in cities, people are gathering in thousands. And there is no country, state, city, or town left behind in these protests.
As many of the people cannot come out due to the fear of coronavirus, they started their protest on social media platforms. And hence, the formation of this tag #BlackLivesMatter. We will see millions of posts trending with the message of saving black lives if we put this hashtag in the search feature of any of the social media stage.
Why Is This So Important?
In every part of the world, some minorities exist, and they face a tremendous amount of racism and discrimination. Generally, the laws and systems of these places further push down these communities, making their lives miserable. So, these protests are not just about the black lives or the killing of a black man. They are more about providing support to the minor communities. And that is the reason why they are so crucial for the people.
Many people are also saying that protesting is not the way out of this problem. They agree that people should raise their voices, but according to them, protests are not the solution. However, if we look at the outcome of these protests, we can certainly tell that they are not going waste at all. Some of the significant consequences of the #BlackLivesMatter protest are:
- New York: When people gathered outside a police station in New York to protest against them, the policemen joined them, kneeling to support black lives. Some of them even started crying as they admitted the mistake from the system’s side.
- Controversial Statues: For several years, people have been raising their voices against the controversial statues in different places. The government never really listened to them. But with the ongoing protests, they actually took down many of those statues.
- People Getting Aware: Reports show that recently, books on Americal racism have made their way up to the list of top sellers. It shows that people want to know the history of this racism, and they want to stand against it.
- Police Reformation: Some of the places have announced that they will invest their money more in sectors like education and jobs rather than funding the police. That gives a big hope of change soon.
The protests against George Floyd’s death are picking fire with the time. More and more people are joining these protests every day, and the results of the same can be seen everywhere. Maybe this was the change that the system always wanted against racism and inequality. But why did it take a person’s life for the system to realize that they need to change? This question should be asked to each person who has now agreed to bring transformation in the years-old policies.