At its center

Amid the national conversation surrounding the events of the past week, what should be at its center, and remain there, is the cruel, senseless, and racially inspired murder of one Black Live — George Floyd — by 4 “officers of the law” and the systemic practices that make it a reoccurring trauma in the African American community and other communities of color — not provocations, not looting, not burning cars, not the extremists of the right and left, not media coverage, not even the rhetorical and incendiary distractions of the present occupant in the White House.

The latter have a place, as do the peaceful and nationwide marches in cities across the country, the failure of law and order appeals to command center stage, and the new stakes in the November elections. But none of them should crowd out the brutal execution of George Floyd, if we hope to find a way out of this crisis and reoccurring tragedy.

A turning point

Time will tell, and nothing is guaranteed, but the police killing of George Floyd could be, finally, a turning point in the struggle to radically change the criminal justice system and policing across the country. The response to this ghastly murder is of such a magnitude that it is realistic to think that there won’t be a return to the status quo. Trump and his Republican cronies in Washington and elsewhere will surely attempt to block such changes, but we will usher them out of Washington on the first Tuesday in November.

Obama speaks

Here is a recent article by President Obama.


On all of us

Biden has to step outside and provide a contrast in style and substance to Trump, as do other leaders of the Democratic Party and democratic coalition. Actually, everybody, including each of us in whatever way we can, has to find our voice. Silence isn’t an option; speaking out at this tense and dangerous moment is a necessity.

Democratic control

The past week — and it’s too bad we as a country have to learn this way — provided more than enough reasons for a overhaul of our criminal justice system. A crucial element of any such overhaul is democratic and community control with teeth over police departments and policing.

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