Anthony Walton ’82 | June 25, 2020
When I saw the video of George Floyd being killed by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, it was as if the entire 400-plus year mistreatment of African Americans in North America had gathered and descended into one single moment: a man had his life’s breath literally squeezed out of him, on camera.
The film ricocheted around the globe in a matter of moments. But I did not anticipate the Krakatoa-like eruption of protest and rage that we have witnessed in the United States and around the world. In the responses from fellow citizens, politicians, corporations and other organizations, it was as if a cry — by so many, for so long — was finally being heard. It was as if the laws of consciousness, and social conscience, had been altered by a single event that changed everything.
While I am not entirely convinced that this reaction will lead to sustained change, I’ve tried to ascertain what has driven this moment in American history and to think about what it might mean.
Read more here.