“When civility leads to death, revolting is the only logical reaction,” the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback tweeted. “The cries for peace will rain down, and when they do, they will land on deaf ears, because your violence has brought this resistance. We have the right to fight back! Rest in Power George Floyd.”
Former San Francisco 49er QB Colin Kaepernick delivered that message to all those who were part of the aftermath of the killing of a man in Minneapolis in a tragic encounter with four policemen. Video of the event clearly shows that the police grossly mishandled the confrontation with George Floyd, an African American. The video is absolute proof of excessive force in the encounter and George’s subsequent death. And Floyd was subdued, under control, and making no attempt to escape or harm police when he died.
Already three nights of violence have decimated downtown Minneapolis with stores looted and destroyed, several buildings burned to the ground and millions of dollars of destruction at the hands of demonstrators.
There is no doubt this man we killed in brutal fashion and killed needlessly. That issue should be a stand-alone. For outsiders such as Kaepernick to make such inflammatory comments as he did with no personal attachments, knowledge of, or any personal involvement serves absolutely no reasonable purpose in this travesty. In fact, Kaepernick’s statement will probably act like pouring gasoline on an already massive fire.
Those rioters and protestors use as justification for their pilfering from and destroying of stores the fact that systemic racism among the ranks of white policemen are the direct causes of Floyd’s death. You know what? That’s probably true. But who do these rioters punish for the unnecessary death of Floyd? Does their destruction of private property, the random theft from the store inventories they raided, and burning down an automotive parts store do anything to impact the injustice committed against Floyd.
Neither does the inflammatory threats of the former NFL Quarterback.
No doubt we in the U.S. have a rampant racist problem that is obviously embedded in our criminal justice system at every level. I’m certain it has been addressed in law enforcement in numerous places and at numerous times. But obviously, it has NOT been eradicated and seems to be thriving in Minneapolis. It MUST be addressed aggressively and done so quickly. The African American community does NOT trust white policemen – and justifiably so.
Added crime in no way can erase the crime of Floyd’s apparent murder. And rioting accomplishes nothing. Those actions only worsen the divide between justice and fairness. They certainly do nothing to stem criminal activity by either side: rioters AND the police. Actions like these playing out daily in Minnesota only make the possibilities of fixing this problem and removing those who insist to perpetually feed the fires of brutality and racism on increase the already near impossibility in which we live today. So what can be done?
Leadership – American leadership representing ALL Americans MUST come to the table, dropping all pretense and anger before sitting down. That’s a tough task to organize! I’m not certain it is even possible. But one thing I DO know: even IF reconciliation is possible, it will never occur around that table with guns drawn both verbally and literally. Violence has never begat peace in any situation. And it will not today.
“If” those in the minority community and those in law enforcement sincerely want to craft and implement a permanent racial peace, having such a summit is an absolute necessity. I’m not saying it will ever work. But no one will know unless honest attempts are made.
You know what? I don’t think those at that table should come from law enforcement nor racial activists, black or white. They need to represent rank-and-file Americans of color and white Americans who already love and daily interact with each other in the same world. Those Americans seem to be the ones most desirous of actual reconciliation and seem to want nothing but real peace. Accomplishing that requires no political or racial agenda.
Can that peace process be brokered? “Can” is possible “IF” enough people believe it is possible and will drop the anger and blame and victim-status to talk to and with each other in honesty and can do that without just talking “AT” each other.
Will that peace process be brokered? I’m not a soothsayer nor a prophet. But I will say honestly for it to happen will require a supernatural miracle. In our history, we’ve had a few of those. We certainly can have another. And we certainly need another.
One more thing MUST be part of an attempt for peace in Minneapolis: white cops nor a former NFL Quarterback need to be part of that conversation. Those people foregoing their political and racial perspectives will be at least part of the necessary miracle for such as an act like this to happen.
Missed in this tragedy of the death of George Floyd and the aftermath in Minneapolis are the feelings of his family members. I want you to watch and listen to the responses of questions from his two cousins. Contrast their words with those of one of the nation’s most recognizable Civil Rights attorneys:
There’s a stark contrast between the countenances and words of these two cousins and this attorney.
That alone is the heretofore insurmountable challenge of racial reconciliation in our nation. That’s going to take a miracle.
A “God” Miracle.