George Floyd's Injustice: A Microcosm in all Cultures
By: Leila Diab/Arab America Contributing Writer
On May 25, 2020, as people all over America watched their TV, a very sad and emotional situation unfolded in Minnesota and across the nation. They witnessed the most despicable, abhorrent and unjustifiable act of murder of an African American man, while handcuffed, pleading for his breathe while a police officer held him down with his knee on his neck. It didn’t matter that he kept pleading for his life and his breathe. With no aid or help to save him, George Floyd perished. May he rest in peace.
Protests and thinkable violent riots all over America began to multiply against this violent act of inhumanity. African Americans have suffered enough under the United States judicial system in this day and age. Racial discrimination is proof of crimes against American people of color who are African, Japanese, Palestinian, Arabs, Muslims, Irish, Italians, and the list goes on and on.
It is crucial here to add that crimes and violence, in particular, against Palestinians in the last few days have increased at a phenomenal rate with no media coverage or the world’s count of law; the world remains silent. No global outrage for the unlawful and hate crimes in occupied Palestine; they continue to happen just like in America. Palestinians and conscientious people in the world are continuously protesting the violation of universal laws and human rights.
Sadly to say that disparity, injustices, and inequality are not significantly addressed in a criminal justice world court.
While we mourn in the death of justice in the world, we should be reminded that centuries ago, President Lincoln fought for the abolition of slavery and made lawful two amendments, one the 13th amendment to end slavery and the 15th Amendment to give African Americans the right to vote. Also, President Ulysses S. Grant was a gallant leader and warrior for African American civil and human rights and the equality of all native and indigent Americans. He said, “The friend in my adversity I shall always cherish most. I can better trust those who have helped to relieve the gloom of my dark hours than those who are so ready to enjoy with me the sunshine of my prosperity. I have never advocated war except as a means of peace, so seek peace.”
Grant’s courageous actions and model examples of honorable historical brilliance and calm was the quintessential voice of the disenfranchised that gave them the human right to bask in equality and freedom. The question arises, when will there be human tolerance, and acceptability of African Americans and people of color living in their homeland with justice, respect, and a humane display of government leadership to drown out crimes against humankind and systemic racism? Hoping we can all breathe calmly and joyfully once again in peace and tranquility.
The very distressing incident of the George Floyd murder in Minnesota is an unfortunate microcosm of all cultures. Protesters for justice are the voices for the voiceless, who advocate civil and human rights in their peaceful pursuit to make their demands heard for peace based on justice. People of good conscience and moral value will never remain silent but continue to demand reforms.
As the 18th President, Ulysses S. Grant said, “If we are to have another contest in the near future of our national experience, I predict that the dividing line will not be the Mason Dixon’s but between patriotism and intelligence on one side, and superstition ambition and ignorance on the other.”
Palestinians and Arab Americans, they too feel the emotional pain, rage, and brutality of unjust scrutiny.
Like George Floyd, Alex Odeh, an Arab American from LA, California, was murdered for daring to speak out for justice and freedom for Arab Palestinians who are continuously are detained and brutally killed without charges against them. It is outrageous that such a crime was not even publicized and the killers have not been brought to justice since1985.
Civil rights organizations such as the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, CAIR, and the Arab-American Civil Rights League have worked tirelessly to defend the civil rights of Arab Americans and have issued statements of solidarity in wake of the Floyd tragedy.
People of color have endured the outrage of Police profiling simply because of their color, ethnicity, and race. For decades, they too have endured racial bias overtones of discrimination due to the media’s negative portrayal of their culture, causes for equality, justice, and freedom.
Now is the time more than ever for judicial laws and courageous leadership to implement peaceful solutions for equality and to end all wars of grief and turmoil for all people of color in America, the land of the free home of the brave.
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