You Gave Him Permission

So my Facebook feed, and conversations with white friends are mostly back to ‘normal’: a few anti-Trump things, lots of summertime fun, a petition here and there, and my Black friends are still talking about how Black Lives Matter. >As such, this feels like a good time to remind y’all that when Derek Chauvin kneeled on George Floyd’s neck and looked up at the cameras and the screaming crowd, hands in his pockets, shoulders relaxed, nonchalantly taking a Black life, he wasn’t alone. And I’m not just talking about the officers who were bystanders. I’m talking about ALL the white folks, who every day, actively or passively, contribute to a society that values white lives above all. Y’all were the ones that gave Derek Chauvin the permission to kneel on that man’s neck and not even blink a moment of concern the entire time.

One comment on “You Gave Him Permission

  1. veramadera on

    I appreciate the willingness to be accountable. I also appreciate the list of issues that perpetuate racism and other “-isms”, or platforms for bias and bigotry. However, I don’t agree that these things equate with permission, which for me is an explicit agreement. Power structures are complex and multi-faceted, and it is these structures that must change in order to address the causes and effects of racism. I’m thinking of one of the officers on the scene with George Floyd, a black officer on his fourth day on the job, who joined the police in order to be part of the solution to systemic racism. He is now facing trial for his part in George Floyd’s death. I think this painful situation speaks to the power of the police “tribe” – we can’t fix this issue by adding good people to a corrupt system. All that does is destroy good people. We need to change the system entirely. The enormity of this is overwhelming to most people – being overwhelmed by the magnitude of the problem is not the same as giving permission. It also distorts the true accountability needed to address George Floyd’s death. There was only one man who knelt on his neck. And that needs to be addressed for what it is.

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