George Floyd’s Death: It’s Not Us Versus Them

On Monday evening, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a forty-six-year-old black man named George Floyd died in a horrific and terrible way.

As it’s not my goal to detail the events, you can read more about what happened here.

I’m not in the business of passing judgement, or trying to explain who did what and why, but there’s one aspect that I’d like to write about: the fact that we often forget the most inalienable of human rights – human decency.

We often think in terms of us versus them. It’s the working class against the rich folks, it’s one race against another, it’s one gender against another, or even introverts versus extroverts.

In a way, it makes sense. We want to be a part of a group, and a group’s identity is tied to what it perceives as its opposite.

It’s worked for us extremely well, but it has also lead to oppression, war, slavery.

It seems to me that we are hardwired that way; it’s our default setting. And the more we let our mental wounds fester, the more we fail to recognize those who are not like us as human beings.

After all, this is what this is about. And I think that if we just forget a bit about all the PR stuff that’s kind of brainwashing us lately, we can recognize the nonchalant manner in which someone behaves towards breaking the spirit of someone they do not perceive as an equal.

Yeah, I am talking about this guy right here.

The only thing I’d like to add is that it’s never us versus them. We should discard this type of thinking and do our best to understand that we’re all human.

We’re all part of the same group. We’re all in the same team, so to speak. We all want to be treated with as much decency as possible, and the answer is never “an eye for an eye.”

That being said, I believe that we should all aspire towards bridging in the gaps between the different groups, and stop seeing this as a multitude of wars and conflicts between genders, races, or nationalities.

We’re all human, and this should be enough to treat one another with as much respect as possible.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot today, while trying to figure out why I felt the urge to write about the tragic and unnecessary death of a person who lived half a world away.

I believe it has to do with the fact that the thought that those who are supposed to protect us are often corrupted by the power we have invested in them. Maybe it has to do with the fact that it breaks my heart to see another person trying to break someone else’s spirit in such a way, and with terrible consequences.

No matter your opinion on what happened, I urge you to think of the fact that we are much more similar than we are different. All of us. And we all suffer greatly because those around us sometimes forget this.

16 Comments

  1. Of course, in a sense you are also arguing for a line – those who respect human decency (dignity) versus those who…don’t. Nonetheless – that is one line I do believe deserves to be drawn. Thank you for posting about this event.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. We are wired that way (i.e. us vs them) as Jane Elliot proved in her famous sociological experiment with school children, dividing them up between blue-eyed and brown-eyed kids, then telling one group or the other they were “special” and seeing how each group behaved when they were treated that way. The results were sobering; differences can be completely arbitrary and meaningless, yet have devastating effects on the group as a whole.
    Maybe if the humanities were given their proper due, more people would know about such research.
    Thanks for the thought-provoking post.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I tend to be very pro-police, BUT this is one of those clear cut cases. No matter what happened before that picture, he was subdued and should have been cuffed and put in a patrol car. PERIOD.

    Instead the cop is sitting there with their hands in their pockets. From what I can see of the corner of their mouth, they appear to either smirking or snarling too. Bury those four officers under the jail.

    Marushka is right about this still drawing a line, but this isn’t about “us” and “them”. This is right and wrong, good and evil at the most basic level.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That’s why I said the officer was nonchalant. He acted as if George was a bit less than human. The same kind of smirk that I’ve seen police officers in Romania display when they arrest Roma minorities.

      And, yes, I did not get a chance to reply. It’s not drawing a line. It’s having to define what human means, and why it’s important to show others that they actually do have an inalienable set of rights.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I figured you hadn’t had time to reply yet. You keep incredibly busy, but as your blog posts point out, that’s a key to success. :)

        I’m not sure if it was racism and seeing him as a bit less than human, or Adrenalin and a “need” to “put the guy in his place” so he’d learn to respect their authority. Either way, it’s disgusting and not how a good cop acts.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Yeah, I was helping my girlfriend with her thesis. The necessity of Ethics in Business Management.

          Anyways, yeah, it could be that. We always just assume it’s racism, but the truth is that that police officers often tend to view “criminals” in this very, don’t know how to put it, like they’re not worth much anyways. It happens more often than I’d like to admit. Much like a surgeon who has to be emotionally resilient to outcome of his surgeries, a police officers is often emotionally detached from the person they are arresting… so pleas, threats, etc. don’t even register anymore.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. This is very sad event. I lived in St. Paul four years ago when Philando Castille was shot. My neighborhood was the center of protests for months. I left there largely because I knew it would happen again, and I didn’t think there was anything I could do about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for writing this. It is so sad that there is so much hatred. I am in mourning not only for Mr. Floyd, but as you put it … our human decency. In this day and age we should have learned this by now. God help us all if we cannot love one another. Keep up the good work.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. An eye for an eye won’t solve anything in the long run, this is true and we are all human. Unfortunately a retarded minority don’t think we are, like the police officer who murdered George Floyd. I believe him to be racist, and his colleagues. They also knew they were being filmed and he just carried on killing him, shows how arrogant and above the law they think they are, why else did they carry on doing it? Correct me if I’m wrong. Also, I think it would have been very different story if it was a white man he was arresting.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I wrote about this in my blog too Cristian. It’s a shame that humans have descended so low. I’m afraid American racists won’t share your POV. That poor guy has a mother, family and friends. I read Derek Chauvin ( that’s the cop’s name) has been arrested for third degree murder, I believe the outcry helped to a certain degree because he would have escaped jail term. After all, it is Trump’s America.

    Liked by 2 people

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