Today May 25th marks one year since George Floyd died in the hands of the police. His killing galvanized civil rights protests around the world against racial killings especially against black people. One year after, where does the world stand? Where does the US stand? Have we made progress?
A lot has happened since Floyd’s killing. Donald Trump, the 45th US President whose divisive rhetoric against people of color marked his entire presidency was voted out. Biden, the friendlier, calmer guy was elected in a most contested and controversial election. Biden whose Vice President-Kamala Harris is a person of color, and daughter of migrants has nominated more people of color to sensitive positions in his administration. In Biden, black people have an ally it seems, and minorities have become embodied by the system.
Have these gains translated into the justice system and police relations with black communities? Events since the killing of Floyd iterate change is a gradual process. Despite the visibility Floyd’s killing brought to the civil rights movements and plights of black communities, black people still suffer and are killed by the police. These senseless killings have not stopped. Black males especially remain disproportionately affected by police brutality and families must continue to have the painful conversations with wards on appropriate conduct with police unfortunately.
As of April 2021, African Americans accounted for the most fatal police shootings in the US.
Yet, these conversations must continue if change must happen and be sustained(1).
On the brighter side,shinning the light on these injustice has enhanced the consciousness among people of diverse race and ethnicities. Floyd did not just die, his killing ignited probably the most diverse civil rights protests around the world culminating in a guilty verdict for his killer. A win for black people and minority communities in the US.
Though slow, scholars and activists must continue to push and engage in these conversations for equal opportunities and access to justice for black people because, Black Lives Matter. These changes no matter how little matter, and are steps in the right direction.
Pic credit: Google