On May 25, 2020, George Floyd was murdered by four Minneapolis Police Officers. The murder of George Floyd caused the world to view, digest, reflect upon and never erase the image of this heinous crime. It was captured on video for 9:29. The thing about a murder is that you cannot take it back and you cannot do enough to make it go away. It does not go away. Nothing is never enough to make it go away. As we approach May 25, 2021, I want to answer this question for you so you will not have to ask anyone else. The question is, have we have done enough since the murder of George Floyd? The answer is simple, “No, we have not done enough.”
What can do to make it right after a murder? Is civil unrest enough? Is the termination of so called “bad apples” enough? Is a conviction enough? Is a tough sentence enough? Is the promise of police reform enough? Is it enough to promise to dismantle a racist system? What is enough? Nothing is enough, and we have not done enough since the murder of George Floyd.
Many people will ask you over the next few weeks how are you going to honor or memorialize George Floyd as we approach May 25, 2021. Some will host a listening session. Some will feature a keynote speaker. Some will host a prayer vigil. Some will host a healing circle. Some will plan a policy discussion on police reform. Some will make another statement. Some will do an inventory of their diversity, equity and inclusion work.
Some will ask Black people what they should do. Some will ask Black people what they should do. Some will ask Black people what they should do.
Asking Black people what to do may not always be the best solution. People that have been severely traumatized by racism should not always be asked to solve the problem of racism.
We have not done enough to end racism before, during or after the murder of George Floyd. We can’t do enough to make it right by May 25, 2021. We must acknowledge systemic change cannot happen in a year. Systems change will take time, action and accountability. We must acknowledge that racism will not end in a year. Ending racism will take time, action and accountability. We must commit to the work. We must do the work. We must hold statement makers (me included) accountable. We must get results.
On May 25, 2021, I’m going to acknowledge the wrongful murder of George Floyd seen by the world. I am going to pray for the victims of police and community violence. I will do something to end systems that promote racial inequality. On May 25, 2021, I will continue to fight for equity.
What will you do? How long will you do it? Will it be transformative and not performative? Will it help change, disrupt or dismantle an inequitable system?