Black Lives Matter. All Lives Matter. The killing of George Floyd was a tragic event which happened. Now everyone knows his name after his death was caused by the brutality of a police officer with others apparently supporting the officer even though bystanders were pleading for mercy for the victim who was clearly in distress.
So many lives have been ruined all because of a counterfeit $20 bill. The owner of a Minneapolis grocery store called the police to report that two black men had been in his store and that George Floyd had used a counterfeit $20 bill. The owner later said that George Floyd may not have even known that the bill was counterfeit. Perhaps the companion of George Floyd could throw some light on that story, but it is unlikely that they would have knowingly tried to pass bogus money while driving a Mercedes and then lingering in the area after the purchase at the store.
So many lives were ruined over a $20 counterfeit bill. George Floyd lost his life that day by his mistreatment. His family has lost their beloved brother or father. His friends have lost someone close to them. The police officer who committed the act and the other three who supported their colleague are facing serious prison time as they have been charged with murder and being complicit.
A couple of days later, the world turned upside down. Just barely starting to recover from the pandemic of the Covid-19 virus, people let their emotions run loose so the United States sustained much pain and hardship. Many more lives were ruined with the demonstrations by protesters who wanted to show support for George Floyd and the other unarmed black people who have lost their lives due to racism and disrespect.
All the people who were arrested during what started out to be peaceful protests may now have criminal records. The people who lost their businesses due to looting and vandalism have lost so much. Their places of business were ruined, and they lost their livelihood which was already suffering due to the pandemic. The people who resorted to criminal acts and looted businesses are likely facing jail time if they were caught. If they were not caught, they have likely started on a life of crime which will cause future problems. People were injured or killed in the riots. So many lives have been ruined over that one $20 counterfeit bill.
We can’t know for sure if the police officers were racist against African American people. One of the officers was an Asian American, and the officer charged with murdering George Floyd has been married to an Asian American woman for ten years.
Many ethnic minority people have experienced racism to some degree. Asian Americans are facing discrimination at the present time because they are being unjustly blamed by some for the coronavirus coming to the United States.
Yet we all know that it is worse for African Americans. If people like Magic Johnson face racism and have to warn their sons about the treatment they may receive simply for the color of their skin, we know that changes are long overdue. People must be treated with respect and consideration no matter the color of their skin. There has been too much racism which has been allowed to continue in this country for too many years.
In this day and age when nearly everyone carries a cell phone with a camera on it, you would think that people would be more careful about their actions. Still, it has not deterred much of the violence and brutality in the country including among law enforcement. Most police officers are undoubtedly doing their job the best they know how without brutality. A few bad apples ruin it for the good people.
Racism was the main cause of Japanese Americans being forced from their west coast homes during World War II when they were unjustly incarcerated in camps although they were totally innocent. Many Latinos, Asians, Native Americans, and other ethnicities have had racist slurs hurled at them. African Americans often face the worse kind of racism.
George Floyd has become a symbol for trying to improve race relations. It is hoped that his life will be remembered and that conditions will finally change. We all need to do our part to treat others with the respect that everyone deserves. Racism has no place in society. Too many lives are ruined because of racism.
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by Irene Mori