Billy Osogo

A year ago, George Floyd (yes, say his name) was brutally murdered in broad daylight, by a law enforcement officer. His death was yet another addition to the long list of black people who have suffered the same fate.

However, akin to Rosa Parks’ arrest or Dr. King’s assassination, it was unique in one respect. It shocked a population who had been long traumatized into accepting systemic racism as a routine. The ensuing furore manifested in the Black Lives Matter protests across the world is testament to that.

A year on, George Floyd’s anniversary, provides a moment to reflect. Here are a few thoughts.

Great democracies have institutions that are constantly assessing and, if necessary, adjusting the course of the country in the pursuit of consistency with our values and our law, even under the most stressing conditions.”- Dr. Condolezza Rice (No Higher Honor)

George Floyd’s case is unique in that the perpetrator was actually held accountable. Having a President who has the fortitude to acknowledge America’s original sin is also a boon to the cause. The simple yet powerful act of President Biden meeting the Floyd family and calling for legislation to avert such incidents in the future is the hallmark of responsible leadership.

All great artists draw from the same resource: the human heart, which tells us that we are more alike than we are unalike.” – Maya Angelou (Letters to My Daughter)

The diversity in the millions of people across the world who raised their voices against George Floyd’s death is inspiring. It is proof that the ‘us versus them’ narrative no longer pass muster. Our differences (religion, race, gender etc) are strengths, not weaknesses.

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing; the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” – Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles (Ikigai)

In the face of frustration and cynicism, the world rallied together, hopeful that justice would be served. We’ve seen state legislatures, federal government and the private sector respond to the call for inclusion, fairness and diversity. Whereas it may not be at full scale, it is progress in the right direction. These decisions reflect what we’d want the future to be.

These are unique times. Difficult for most. Yet turning points all through history occur during such periods . It is important to remain aware of the time we occupy in history and seize the opportunity for change.

As Dr. King said:
There comes a time when time itself is ready for a change. The leaders do not ask for the task, but are tracked down by the spirit of the times until it consumes them; they reach a point when they become a symbol of both the disaffected and the movement swirling around them.”

Indulge me.

What reflections have you had a year later?

34 thoughts on “GEORGE FLOYD: A YEAR ON

  1. What brilliant writing ✍️ and a somber reflection out of George Floyd/Flyod tragic ends may many lessons be learned
    Thank you for this work

  2. Change is the only constant. And opportunities must not be wasted in doubt and the fear of consequence. ‘We are the change we seek’ – powerful words but only meaningful if acted upon. One voice is enough to trigger a wave of sentiment, and even if history has not been kind, there is always hope in the present to right the wrongs. Indifference is the greatest sin, and we all have committed it at some point or the other. George Floyd’s life mattered just like numerous other lives out there. It’s a bittersweet victory, but it ushers in an era of hope and equality. Thanks for sharing this!

    1. Hey Terveen!

      I couldn’t agree more!

      Change is the only constant! Truer words were never spoken.

      Thank you for making time 😊

  3. I love these quotes! While many people may become hardened to hearing George’s name and other victims names, we can’t deny that we’re seeing changes being made where before things would return back to status quo.

    1. We still are in status quo. This system is the status quo. Just because a few laws get altered doesn’t mean anything has changed. It just means the masters of manipulation have thrown a few bones under the table to lower the growling to a whisper. It’s going to take a lot more thought and effort to dismantle this system of slavery and build a new system that is truly governed by The People.

  4. I’ve never seen the world come together to form something like Black Lives Matter before. I’ve never seen major sporting institutions take such a public stand. That’s all progress as far as I’m concerned, even though there remains a lot to do.

    Convicting Chauvin… I would be lying if I said I always knew he’d be found guilty. There was a pit of dread that despite all the evidence he’d get away with it. To see justice done… it was remarkable.

      1. But like darthtimon said, we still have a ways to go.
        In my state the governor passed a law (this year) that makes it legal to use your car to run over or hit protesters if “you feel threatened.”
        Our country prides itself for all of our supposed advances in many areas like tech and medicine to name but 2, however we should be further along than we are with our national bigotry.

  5. Until you can say clearly and with conviction, “Black lives matter,” I won’t believe you when you say, “all lives matter.” Thanks for your reflection.

  6. The behavior of some US law enforcement is a national disgrace! Some improvements are now being made. Rogue police are being held accountable. Some cities now have units trained to deal with mental illness and drug-related cases. Police have been dealing with situations for which they are not trained. I understand that many countries have similar problems.

    I think one of the problems is retired military who are inadequately trained in law enforcement, They often resort to methods learned for combat, but not appropriate for civilian situations.

    I don’t believe most racist cops can be successfully rehabilitated. They should be fired for racist behavior.

  7. Beautiful!

    One of my reflection would be conversations around race and how it has changed. People are more aware of institutional racism and tackling the over saturated phrase ”I don’t see colour’. On a personal level I am more confident in being different, where before it used to feel suffocating now it feels empowering. World is truly changing and we are all collectively working towards the change.

  8. I believe there are people who sincerely pursue/attain their position of authority to help their fellow human beings; however, I also believe that too many law-enforcers — be they private-property security, community police, prison guards or heavily-armed rapid-response police units — have targeted/acquired such authoritative fields of employment for power-trip reasons (albeit perhaps subconsciously).

    It’s a profession in which they might get to, for example, storm into suspects’ homes, screaming, with fully-automatic machineguns or handguns drawn, at the homes’ occupants (to “face down!”), all of whom, including infants, can be permanently traumatized from the experience. On some occasions, these ‘law-enforcers’ force their way into the wrong home, altogether. That’s potentially when open-fire can and does occur, followed by wrongful deaths to be “impartially” investigated. Those that do get into such a profession of (potential or actual) physical authority might do some honest soul-searching as to truly why. I believe I would.

    Problematically, there may be many people who are in such an armed authority capacity that were reared with an irrational distrust or baseless dislike of other racial (etcetera) groups.

  9. Hi, A. B. Osogo. To date, I still haven’t watched the entire video of George Floyd being murdered. The bits and pieces I have seen have devastated me. I’m simply too soft-hearted to view the whole thing, especially the last few minutes.

    What is the Kenyan view on his situation? It’s good for Americans to hear how others are thinking about what happened to him.

    Thanks for this.

    1. Hey Troy.

      It’s absolutely devastating.

      Violation of human rights knows no geographical boundaries. Murder in Guatemala is still murder in Kinshasa.

      That his family got justice is an inspiring thing. The outpouring of support from people from all races too, is something to write home about.

      It’s good to hear from you, my friend!

      Stay safe!

  10. Some reflections I’ve had seem unhelpful when I think about them at first, but grow into more beneficial thoughts the more I mull them over:

    There is always more we can do to harbour inclusiveness of all. What we must not let this truth do, is move us to inaction because it all seems too big. Take each small step we can. Speak up when someone says something out of line. Actively listen and amplify voices of reason and hope. Be present when we can, to offer support when it is something helpful for us to do.

    Thank you for your invitation to really think about the effect George Floyd’s murder has had on me and others. The way you write encourages discussion and seeking helpful truth within the world. Thank you so much for having the courage to share. ❤

    1. Hey Hamish 😃

      Ah, this has made my day!!

      “Actively listen and amplify voices of reason and hope.”

      That will stick with me forever.

      Thank you for your kind words, brother.

      It’s always a pleasure to hear from you 😊

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