George Floyd’s Legacy

When Minneapolis jurors convicted Derek Chauvin of murdering George Floyd yesterday, I gave thanks that justice, in this case, had been served. Darnella Frazier’s video of Chauvin’s calloused disregard for the life of the person he sought to arrest might have been the only evidence the prosecution needed.

As Pres. Biden put it in his address yesterday, it’s time to bring an end to systemic racism in America. More particularly, it’s time to figure out how to police our nation in a manner that protects those who obey the law and respects the humanity of those who don’t.

What reforms can we pursue to make this happen? What must be done if we want to live in a country where Black and brown parents don’t have to have “the talk” with their kids?

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13 Responses to George Floyd’s Legacy

  1. Courtenay Sebastian says:

    Honestly I’m glad they finally severed Justice for Floyd, but this is only the start, like Biden said. I see on the news everyday people who are killed or persecuted for their race. It really breaks my heart, considering we are all God’s children. It astounds me to see that some people just don’t have that respect for others. I look forward to the continuation of Justice.

  2. Zuyi Li says:

    I believe education is the most effective way to bring an end to systemic racism in America. There are many factors that contribute to systemic racism in America. According to Stanford psychologist, Steven O. Roberts, “The first three factors…reviewed are: categories, which organize people into distinct groups; factions, which trigger ingroup loyalty and intergroup competition; and segregation, which hardens racist perceptions, preferences and beliefs.” The education system in America does not include any treatment for these problems. Many schools do not give proper education to their students about categorization, factions, and segregation. This results in a continuation of racism in our next generations
    Even after changing schools’ curriculums, we will need to have more enforcement to allow parents and students to feel safe. The purpose of “the talk” is to prepare children for the possibility that they may get harmed by racist individuals, and “the talk” will continue as long as there is still racism. Racism must end for “the talk” with their kids to stop.

  3. Max Dobbs says:

    The fact of the matter is our entire justice system is broken. Most obviously, our system of policing is heavily biased against black communities. One reason is black communities tend to be over-policed, as they have higher crime rates. However, police do little to reduce total crime long-term, and in some cases (like the War on Drugs), their efforts increase crime. Over-policing results in black people being way more likely to be arrested, even for crimes they commit in similar numbers as white people (e.g. marijuana). Additionally, bias against black people pervades our society, and police take these biases with them. At the same time, police are often not payed as well, and rely largely on arrests to fund their department. Both these factors encourage police to commit violence against black people and arrest them more often.

    The next step of the legal process is given less attention than it should. The vast majority of people accused of crimes rely on a small number of overworked and underpaid public defenders. For this reason, at least 90% of criminal trials end in a guilty plea. On top of that, those who cannot afford bail can be kept in prison for months before seeking trial. The Sixth Amendment of the United States has been effectively denied to America’s poorest communities. Black and brown communities across the United States are poorer, and police are already biased against them.

    The solution to these problems lies in fixing our broken systems. We need to overhaul our police system, redistributing funding where necessary so that police departments can run, but also do not gain profit from arrests. At the same time, we can reduce the scope of police (i.e. fund and rely on other departments for mental health and animal control). But I think it is most important to pay public defenders much more, and hire many more defenders and judges. No one should be kept waiting on bail they cannot afford for more than one month; if they are not proven guilty within a reasonable time, they should not be held accountable. The talk will end when black and brown people do not live in fear of the institutions meant to protect them, and we can start by assuring each and every individual their constitutional rights.

  4. Khushi Patel says:

    I am happy and thankful that justice was served for George Floyd. The incident that happened to George Floyd was not right at all. I was glad to see many people fighting for his justice by protesting. However, there are still people being treated unfairly and that should be fixed as well. It is not just blacks, but Asians as well. I believe that everyone should be treated and respected equally no matter what race or religion they are. Everyone should also be protected by the police equally. You should only be punished if you did something wrong not because of your skin color or because you do not have a lot of money. I agree with Max that our justice system is completely broken and the first thing we need to do is fix that. I am glad that President Biden wants to end systemic racism in this country. The system should treat all people equally. We also have a new and upcoming generation and the earlier we teach them the right thing, the better our system will be in the future. Education is really important to this part. Children should be taught about treating everyone equally and why it is the right thing to do. Children should be taught that racism is unfair and wrong. This should be taught by their parents as well as in school. This is a very important issue, and it should be fixed immediately.

  5. Nina Patel says:

    I am ecstatic that George Floyd got the justice he deserved. I think this is only a step further in the right direction. Although it took a while for justice to be served, I know that many reforms can happen. I do not, however, think that we will ever be a country where Black and Brown parents cannot give the “talk” to their children. There will be ignorant people everywhere choosing violence against a specific type of people, no matter what is right and wrong. Unfortunately, there have been more killings against minorities. I agree with Max and Khushi that our justice system is corrupt. We need a system that represents equality and that starts with the children. Children need to learn what is right and wrong. They need to be taught that they need to treat others the way they wanted to be treated from a young age. If we can start young from our children, then I think that a massive step in equality in the future.

  6. Chloe A Sharp says:

    I think that Max summed it up perfectly. Derek Chauvin has joined the incredibly small percentage of police actually convicted of manslaughter. While this is wonderful, think about how you were feeling while the trial was going on. Even with a literal video of Floyd’s murder and multiple eyewitnesses as evidence, everyone in the country was holding their breath throughout the entirety of the trial, because despite all of this evidence, no one was sure if Chauvin would be convicted of even one of the charges against him. That is the problem with our justice system. Police are almost invincible in this country, and that is an extremely dangerous thing. The system needs serious reformation. The US police system was built on racism, and there has been a continuation of that systemic racism. The fact of the matter is that 1 in every 1000 black men will be killed by police throughout the course of their life. That is an alarming statistic. The only way to fix this broken system is serious reformation and reallocation of funds in the justice system to focus more on streamlining putting people on trial when they are charged so that those who can’t afford bail don’t have to sit in jail for months awaiting trial. We need to abolish policies such as the “war on drugs” and anti-homeless laws so that police aren’t able to target poor communities, which are predominantly Black and brown communities. Of all the names of police brutality victims that we have been hearing for the past year, George Floyd is the only one who has gotten a semblance of justice. That should tell you everything you need to know about our justice system.

  7. Gracie Rowland says:

    SO much needs to be done to bring about even a semblance or racial equality in this country, and making immense changes to our police force plays a large role in achieving that. However, the systematic racism in the police force is only part of the problem. Our education system, our judicial system, our voting laws, and so much more are warped with the malodorous stench of generational racism. It will take years to rebuild these systems into something that offers impartiality.

    As for the police system, I believe that police officers should be forced to undergo double or triple the amount of training the do (it’s ridiculous how little they currently undergo), they should have recurring and mandatory classes on de-escalation, they should have body cams 24/7 while on the job, and they should not have any kind of immunity. Also, mental health professionals should go to 911 calls about mental health emergencies, not cops who lack all the training in the world to deal with those kinds of situations. Cops wake up everyday and work in a in a racist, currently unethical profession and something needs to be done about it, now.

    There will never be a post-black world, or a post-racist world. That is undeniable. Too much history, human malevolence, and idiots with confederate flag bumper stickers exist for there to come a day for “the talk” to not have to happen, but changing the systems that oppress POC is the undeniably right step to take, and it should be taken immediately.

  8. Maddie Flowers says:

    I can’t even begin to express the feelings I felt over Derek Chauvin’s conviction. I remember the Travyon Martin case- I thought there was no hope. Time went by, and I continued to feel like there was no hope. However, this was the first time I’ve ever witnessed an African American receive justice. Honestly, our entire system is broken and needs to be reformed. When a hairstylist spends more time in school than a police officer, then clearly there’s a problem. I strongly believe officers should receive a thorough examination to check the state of their mental health. Most importantly, officers should receive further training regarding weapons. There’s no reason to show up to the scene with a gun over a suicide call. But, to be brutally honest, there’s always gonna be another brutality case. There’s been several more since Floyd’s case and Chauvin’s conviction. You cannot change the heart of a white supremacist.

  9. Alexis Sorg says:

    It is great that Floyd’s murderer was convicted. It seems to be a step in the right direction. As for continuing social reforms, I think this will take time. We all saw how long it took for a conviction. Even though there was one, I feel this should have been done sooner. I also think that no matter how hard we try, there will always be racism. The justice system needs to be changed and be reconstructed. It needs to be equal and there needs to be no bias. These steps could potentially be steps in the right direction.

  10. Mikayla Jones says:

    As good as we may feel about the verdict of this case, this is merely the beginning. George Floyd drew attention to a movement that has been around since 2013. Black Lives Matter started after the murder of Trayvon Martin. They have been advocating for these for forever and they are just now seeing light. There are sooo many more cases that have not seen justice. For the many that we have heard of, there’s tons more. Our whole system needs reform and this very public case was a good start. It opened a lot of peoples eyes. Police need more extensive training. They should also have different forces; there is no reason police officers with guns should show up to a suicide call. Also, when police do something against the law they should be help accountable for it and not protected. There needs to be change. A weight was lifted off my shoulders that day but we have a long way to go.

  11. Kenzie Pitts says:

    The way I see it, since we have to be trained by our parents to know what to do in that type of situation, they should be trained as well. I understand that there is apparently already a system in place for no discrimination for police officers, but clearly that system is highly flawed. There needs to be a new and completely separate training for police officers so that they fully understand what their role is and what they are not permitted to do. Also, a big part of the problem isn’t that police won’t discriminate against whoever they chose, its that too many police are “let off the hook” so in their minds they had free reign to do whatever they want to without consequences. This needs to change. All police officers suspected of harassment of any minority or any one in general due to a discriminatory motive, should be put on a non paid suspension until the case is taken care of. Any police officer involved in the altercation of a person where said person or nearby guest of said person is heavily injured or mudered should be held in jail with the same bond they hold any other person with. They should be tried in front of judges that they have no affiliation with romantically or biologically as the law states. They should be punished always to the highest extent of the law because their line of work causes them to know the law better than anyone else. And any incidents such as accidentally grabbing a gun instead of a taser should be rule manslaughter because the officer was trained to know where their weapons are held.

  12. Chingun Tsogt-Erdene says:

    An education reform is a must if we want to see to change. However, it won’t be perfect and the complete solution tot his problem. It breaks my heart to say that “the talk” still needs to happen because there are plenty of ignorant people in the world. And I can do is spread awareness. I also believe there needs to be longer extensive trainings for police officers. It is ridiculous that their training to become an officer is about six months while a barber would take six to nine months to complete their training. Overall, the justice system needs to be reconstructed and hopefully just hopefully it will change the future for many.

  13. Mackenzie Knighten says:

    First of all we need to close the way each race views each other. The way I see it is these are not cops killing people that they deem they are afraid of. No. These are white men and women, sometimes black, harassing and killing people that they believe are below them. These people have hatred in their heart against us. They fear us. They automatically feel threatened when they come near us and I’m sure that has been their way of thinking for most of their lives. If we want to end systematic racism and police brutality, we have to first remove those who hate us and stop teaching the younger people to hate as well. That goes into how the school teaches the history of our nation. We need to be truthful about what happens and stop sugar coating things to the younger generation or they’ll never know what needs to be done. Additionally, we need remove all the laws and practices that have been used against us. Overall, I feel that we need to change the way people view each other because only then will we get people from different races that see each other as equals and not feel the need to treat them as any less than human.

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