I’ve by no means seen the George Floyd video.
I’m not watching the homicide trial of Derek Chauvin, the previous Minneapolis police officer who pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly 10 minutes in broad daylight over a pretend $20 invoice.
As a journalist, I ought to have seen the brutal video. As a journalist, I ought to watch the trial and watch all of the pundits dissect all of the testimony to place collectively what all of it means.
As a journalist, I ought to know extra absolutely concerning the testimony and the witnesses behind what I’ve heard about or seen within the headlines: The firefighter who tried to intervene. The teenager who recorded the video and stayed up nights apologizing to Floyd for not doing extra to assist him. The shop clerk who took pity on Floyd in his final hours. However, similar to so a lot of my family and friends, I am fully avoiding the trial.
I’ve not learn a single article concerning the proceedings. I maintain my tv muted whether it is onscreen. Or I alter the channel to keep away from seeing something in any respect. Extra particularly, I, like so many others who’ve seen an excessive amount of, am avoiding yet one more show of Black ache, Black trauma and Black loss of life.
“I am personally not watching a second of it,” my older brother, 48, texted once I despatched a message to our household group asking in the event that they have been following the trial, which began Monday.
“It is traumatizing,” my youthful brother, 41, replied, including that he doubted there could be a conviction.
My mom, 83, a retired educator who raised her 4 youngsters on tales about “the motion,” responded considerably in another way. “It is an excessive amount of however I have been watching it. It is actually one thing,” she mentioned. “I’ll must cease as a result of it is vitally traumatic.”
One of many clearest reminiscences I’ve of my mom is from 1992. We have been sitting in her room watching Los Angeles burn within the aftermath of the Rodney King verdict.
And my mom, not a lady who cries a lot, started to weep.
“Black persons are in a lot ache,” she cried, protecting her face along with her fingers and burying her head in her knees. “Black persons are in a lot ache.”
I had seen my mom cry like that solely as soon as earlier than, within the early morning after my father died. We got here dwelling from the hospital, my father now in a morgue, and as we approached the storage, she simply stopped the automobile and wept.
Eight months later, she shed tears over Los Angeles. Tears over how the justice system and the way America had let her and her folks down. My mom and father, a school professor, had raised all of us with a way of historical past. That they had taken us to protest marches in opposition to the Accomplice flag, many years after they themselves had marched for civil rights.
Embedded in these tales, which, frankly, we have been sick of listening to, was the hope that their struggles, their protests meant our lives could be much less scarred and deformed and restricted by the brutality of racism. That was the thought. And but, 1992.
I keep in mind feeling helpless as I watched my mom cry. What may I inform her? “The motion” had occurred, she and my father have been a part of it, so how may this occur too?
And now, 2021. George Floyd killed by a police officer in broad daylight with youngsters witnessing his final breaths and his requires his personal mom.
“It is troublesome,” my mom texted all of us. “However we owe George Floyd.”
And my mom, who by “we” means Black people, is not unsuitable. Floyd is owed. However he isn’t owed by Black folks, whose struggling is simply too typically on a relentless loop, a lot as he’s by a nation that so frequently has enabled that struggling to proceed.