Recently our cities have seen the outrage of citizens over the police led death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. We have seen protests become violent as some express dissatisfaction over the way Black citizens are treated by police. This treatment has resulted in death too often and has led to a motto “Black lives matter’ that has become the rallying cry for the many who have gathered in the streets of America.
And the outrage is understandable. The death of Aumaud Oliver Arbery at the hands of a father who had been a law enforcement officer and his son while he was jogging caused us concern. The death of Breonna Taylor in Louisville Kentucky as she lay in the bed as police raided the wrong house made us mad. The death of George Perry Floyd, Jr, as a police officer knelt with his knee upon his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds in Minneapolis Minnesota took many over the top. There was no risk not worth taking to stand against this kind of injustice. Even the fear of catching COVID-19 and the attendant horrible death did not stop people from coming out. It is ironic that George Floyd’s lament “I can’t breathe” is the condition of “respiratory arrest” felt by the victims of the coronavirus.
I believe that people are more important than profit. They are certainly more important than property. I ,like many, understand the pain of employees and business owners as job loss and business closures seem the best way we can stem the tide of this deadly virus. Our economy has taken a hit as has the world and our best scientists try to come up with a vaccine that will save hundreds of thousands of lives. So far, even though some are promising, the search for a solution continues. In the meantime, we continue to suffer and the deaths continue to rise.
As we walk upon the skyscrapers that are adorned with glaze, we should be reminded that a few panes of glass (most covered by insurance) are not worth a life. Twenty dollars is not worth a life. For those of wealth positioned behind the blue wall of police, the protesters represent a threat to their acquired wealth (either earned or inherited). They ask that the laws be enforced. For those who work hard or have little they ask the question “what do we gave to lose?”
Too often they pay a high price. It may result in incarceration or possibly loss of life.