Self-evident Truths

We were nearly six decades past the 1964 Federal Civil Rights Act.

The vile remnants of racial discrimination had been outlawed.

Statutes, rules and court cases all guaranteed equal protection under the law.

Then, in May, 2020, George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis, MN.

There he was, pressed against the asphalt, his expression resembling that of a man found in a peat bog whose face, compressed by the weight of peat over the centuries, had been frozen in the moment of death.

Floyd was black, the officer was white.

There is nothing in the facts at this time to indicate that the man who killed Floyd was racially motivated.

What is known is that 16 complaints had been filed against him in the past.
The contents of the complaints have not been disclosed and it is not known whether they alleged racist acts.

His wife and the three other officers (now defendants as well) at the scene were members of minority groups.

It is possible that he was in the grip of a mental disorder that resulted in exaggerated fear and explosive aggression? Was he under some chemical influence? Steroids are known to create a condition called “roid rage”.

The death of George Floyd has led to riots, looting and extensive property destruction  across the United States.

It has awakened the question of racial division once again.

“Black Lives Matter!” has grabbed the narrative.

Some see the death of Floyd as evidence of “institutional racism” and ”white privilege”.

Others, like civil rights activist, Bob Woodson of the Woodson Institute consider  “Black Lives Matter” a “ruse”.

“There are two people that I think are destroying this country and that is guilty white people and angry rich entitled blacks who play the race card and they don’t have to live with the consequences of their advocacy.” Bob Woodson (at 4:51)

Others have written that the BLM is an attempt to create disorder into which organizations like ANTIFA and adverse foreign interests can enter.

There will always be racism.

There will always be genderism, ageism and other “isms” as well.

Although we have legal safeguards to protect against discriminatory behavior, a  heart cannot be legislated.

One way to confront the “isms”, especially racism, is to raise children with positive morals and values and to impress upon them that everyone is created equal, that people should be judged “on their own merits” and not their descent, DNA or background.

Such a practice generates high self-esteem, another defense against negative treatment of others.

About the Author
Elaine Rosenberg Miller writes fiction and non-fiction. Her work has appeared in numerous print publications and online sites, domestically and abroad, including JUDISCHE RUNDSCHAU, THE BANGALORE REVIEW, THE FORWARD, THE HUFFINGTON POST and THE JEWISH PRESS.