The news of George Floyd's death has been deafening, dominating the news and social media space the last week. It all started on May 25 when Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American man died in custody after being taken in by the Minneapolis police for reportedly using a counterfeit check at a supermarket. Outside the store, Floyd was handcuffed and pinned to the ground by police office Derek Chauvin. The officer's knee was pressed on his neck, while other officers, Thomas Lane, Tou Thao, and J. Alexander Kueng, stood by. Onlookers begged for Chauving to stop.
Video footage from the incident later surfaced online, showing Floyd begging for his life. "I can't breathe," he tells the officer. "Please, I can't breathe." The father-of-one went motionless and was taken to hospital, where he later died from the injuries inflicted by Chauvin.
While Floyd's murder is yet another reminder that racism is rampant in America - following the deaths of fellow persons of colour at the hands of law officials (Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, and countless more).
Chauvin has since been charged with murder, following protests in the US. The three other officers were fired.
But, enough is enough. This is not just an issue that lies with the people of America. It sits with us all.
Just look to the 2015 case of David Dungay, a 26-year-old Indigenous Australian in Long Bay jail, who had guards storm his cell after he refused to stop eating a packet of biscuits. In video footage played in court, just like Floyd, he begged for his life while officers held him down so hard he died. His family are yet to see justice served.
According to The Guardian, in August 2018, an analysis of 10 years of coronial data found 407 Indigenous people had died in police or prison custody since the end of the royal commission in 1991. And while Indigenous Australians make up 2 per cent of the national population, 27 per cent make up the prison population.
It's time to take action. Below, we outline the many ways we can help.
While yes, taking to Instagram to hashtag and repost is going to help raise awareness - we must continue to amplify our voices - especially those of us born with white privilege - and educate those around us.
A list of places you can visit to do so:
Take Harvard’s implicit bias test to learn your level of conscious and unconscious bias on things like light versus dark skin tone preference and many other categories including race, sexual orientation, religion, age, and weight.
Reclaim The Block
Listen to Chrisy Ford's viral video on racism
Become an ally
Read books by black and Indigenous authors (a list here).
A petition, which has 9 million signatures and growing by the second, calls on Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and District Attorney Mike Freeman to arrest and charge all officers involved in Floyd's death for police malpractice.
Text "FLOYD" to 55156 and sign the Colour of Change petition.
The petition currently has over 3 million signatures, demanding justice for George Floyd. In addition, you can also send a 30-second video testimonial calling for justice to Colour of Change via the petition website.
If you have means to donate, do so.
The Minnesota Freedom Fund is helping bail out people who are getting arrested while protesting.
Donate to George Floyd's family.
If you would like to contribute financially to Floyd's funeral and burial costs, his family has set up a GoFundMe page for donations. Anyone who wishes to send cards, letters of encouragement and/or contributions in the form of a money order or check, can do so by mail. All checks should be made out to The Estate of George Floyd.
The Estate of George Floyd
c/o Ben Crump Law, PLLC
122 S. Calhoun Street
Tallahassee, FL 32301
Attn: Adner Marcelin
Read these powerful pieces to further your knowledge.
White people, here's how to be a better ally and proactively anti-racist
Black People Need Stronger White Allies — Here’s How You Can Be One
BECOME A BETTER ALLY TO THE BLACK COMMUNITY