Ten days ago, protests began in the United States over the killing of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis. It was captured on video. For nine brutal minutes, George Floyd kept telling the officer he could not breathe with the officer’s knee on his neck. The officer never budged. It was chilling. While I am not African American, I do worry about any encounter with the police and I also worry about what could happen to my children in those scenarios. If the video represents the tip of the iceberg when it comes to racism, those fears are not unfounded. Not all police officers are racist, and not all protestors are peaceful. There has been looting in several major cities.
It’s also incredible that these protests are happening during the COVID-19 crisis. Over 100,000 people have died so far. The protests put people in close quarters with each other and the police have responded with force. Recently, the military was deployed to tear gas peaceful protestors so that the White House could have a photo op in front of a church. I’m shocked that so many people think that police brutality and racism are a bigger problem than a pandemic. It’s possible that they are right.
Things are peaceful where we are. Police departments are working hand in hand with citizens to coordinate on safe marches in the city. A lot of people are furloughed or unemployed right now while we wait for the pandemic to die down. This might actually give people time to work together on societal change and public policies. For people who are working, many are learning how to be effective at their jobs while working remotely. I am certainly surprised at how efficient I can be without a commute while working in my basement. It’s nice to have more family time and watch my kids grow up. However, I think we are all eager to return to life as normal without social distancing and isolation.