One year ago today, George Floyd was murdered. A teenager, not knowing what else she could possibly do, recorded his final moments. The world watched. And then the world responded. Amidst a global pandemic, people lined the streets in Brussels, London, Seoul, Sydney, Tokyo, and right here in Mercer County.
In March, the House of Representatives passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, banning chokeholds and ending qualified immunity for police-involved killings. Then, in April, the man who killed George Floyd was found guilty of murder. In the months leading up to these pivotal moments of accountability, some tried to justify his murder; others exploited it. George Floyd wasn’t a martyr and calling him one would imply he was willing to die; he was a Black man in America trying to live.
It’s important to acknowledge progress, and it is critical that we demand more. The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act still needs to be passed in the Senate, and we need to push for reforms in policing that will keep citizens and law enforcement safer. We also need to acknowledge the collective racial trauma and anxiety felt by communities of color after a year of marching, rallying, and mourning.
In the past 365 days, we have seen the impact of solidarity amidst unprecedented solitude and social distancing. We will continue to stand together, to stand against racism, and against institutions that perpetuate injustice and inequity.