During May 2020 George Floyd died after a Minneapolis police officer (Derek Chauvin) kneeled on his neck for 9 & 1/2 minutes. During the time that went by Floyd begged for his life but the officer ignored the cries for mercy. The incident sparked a huge reaction from the general population but most importantly the black community didn’t like what took place. For months people marched the streets and signed petitions so their voices can be heard. The same series of events took place after the death of Breonna Taylor who was shot and killed in her sleep during a botched raid in March 2020 conducted by a Louisville police department.
Surprisingly a year after his death the city of Newark disrespectfully placed a 700-pound statue of Floyd in front of their city hall on June 16th, 2021. A 2 part ceremony was held for the statue itself and the new holiday Juneteenth. Unfortunately the Newark, NJ statue wasn’t the only statue of Floyd to go up this year. Another statue was revealed a few days later in Brooklyn, NY on June 19th, 2021 which again is a new holiday for celebrating African-American culture and the emancipation of African-American slaves. That statue is now next to a statue of Breonna Taylor in Manhattan, NY.
The statues alone are disrespectful to the black community but the comments from our brothers and sisters make things even worse. Comments such as “Hopefully it inspires those who walk by to be more active, take part in activism.” – Ras J. Baraka, “Floyd’s death has the same impact as Emmett Till’s in 1995.” – Ras J. Baraka. The statues will do the complete opposite of what Ras J. Baraka said during the years to come. As always history tend to be adjusted to fit certain narratives so in 100+ years the story of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor will most likely be completely different.
We the people shouldn’t accept or support these statues simply because justice will never be served no matter how many statues are put up or how many years Chauvin will spend in prison until black people are treated fairly with respect and are valued on this planet.