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.