It’s been one year and a day since George Floyd was murdered by Derek Chauvin with the help of several his fellow Minneapolis Police officers. Quickly after the video of this killing was broadcast across social media networks people took to the streets. The Black Lives Matter movement that came together after the killing of another black man, Michael Brown, once again organized around the country to make Floyd’s killing a rallying call.
This was of course a different time than when Ferguson became the center of American discourse around race. The President was very different. Back in 2014, President Obama, a black man gave speeches about race in America, wrote a book about growing up black – but once in power did little to confront police violence and racism. In 2020 the President was an avowed white nationalist who called upon police officers to commit more violence against the people they were arresting. Donald Trump, known for decades in New York City for his belief that the now exonerated ‘Central Park Five’ should be executed.
The George Floyd movement happened under the Presidency of Donald Trump which would have been enough but there was also a pandemic killing tens of thousands of people a month. Out of all of this misery came a beautiful movement. One that brought hundreds of thousands of people together across the country to march, fight, protest and demand a better country for people of color. The fight still continues, even with a President that just welcomed the family of George Floyd to the White House.
President Biden has not made any serious moves to change the way policing happens in this country – and in fact, has called for more funding for cops. Politicians, save a few, have been absent from this movement… which is a good thing. There are no great leaders of the protests that the murder of Floyd caused. And so there is no one person to defame, assassinate, or otherwise ‘be rid of.’ This is the movement’s strength and why it will continue on.