TAKING A KNEE
I saw it only briefly, yet I cannot get the image out of my mind.
I guess I am not meant to get it out my mind. Or out of my heart.
His name was George Floyd. He was not another black man being murdered. He was not a statistic. He was a man with a name and a history and a family and a future.
Except that future was taken away.
Brutally. Violently. Senselessly. Shamefully. Amid disempowered bystanders crying for mercy for the suffocating man.
The image of that white officers knee firmly in place on George Floyd’s neck haunts me. I cannot get it out of my mind. I guess I am not supposed to.
What do I do with it?
I weep with it. I weep for all the black people of this and all countries. That they have to see that image. That they have to deal with that image. That they have to reckon with that image and that potential threat. To them. To their loved ones. I weep we have not come further than we have. That is still happening. In this country. At this time. I weep that we then treat the black demonstrators against this atrocity differently and more violently than we do rifle carrying white men outraged by stay at home orders.
How could this still be happening?
Did I mention his name was George Floyd?
I pray with that unforgettable image. I pray that I be purged completely of my white privileged perspective. I pray that I may be a force for change. A force for true and radical equality. I force that uplifts and transforms the energy of fear, hatred, bigotry, and violence. In personal, practical, applicable ways.
One of the many haunting aspects of watching George Floyd being murdered was that he was suffocated with a knee.
A fire storm occurred over a black man taking a knee during the National Anthem as a way of bringing attention to the ongoing systemic racism in this country. And yet a black man has been killed at the knee of a white police officer. Killed as an effect of what that kneeling black man was trying to bring attention to.
I cannot get that image out of my mind. I am not supposed to. I am meant to use it.
And so, I weep. I pray. I look deeply within. I write. I take the actions I can take. I use that image in every way I can to block those hideous occurrences from continuing to happen. To call it out. To use my anger as a fiery torch to light the way to a world that works equally for all. For all.
What else can I possibly do?
I take a knee for George Floyd.