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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 3/30/21

Dismantling A Culture of Violence

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Author 89170
Message Dr. Lenore Daniels

Impaled.
Impaled.
(Image by Wikipedia (commons.wikimedia.org), Author: Author Not Given)
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(Previously published at the BlackCommentatior.com, March 25, 2021)

Violence was official as well as individual" The torturers and punishments of civil justice customarily cut off hands and ears, racked, burned, flayed, and pulled apart people's bodies" They passed corpses hanging on the gibbet and decapitated heads and quartered bodies impaled on stakes on the city walls" Accustomed in their own lives to physical hardship and injury, medieval men and women were not necessarily repelled by the spectacle of pain, but rather enjoyed it.

Barbara W. Tuchman, A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14 th Century

Few in this world wouldn't know what happened to George Floyd, a Black man, who was a resident of Minneapolis on the fateful day he left a grocery store and encounter a white police officer, Derek Chauvin. To my knowledge, there are three videos of what happened, but one, the third one, shows Floyd's neck under Chauvin's knee for eight minutes and forty-six seconds. This video went viral. Not only did residents in Minneapolis protest but the world marched to denounce violence, unnecessary and cold violence.

It's May 25, 2020 in the United States.

If you stumbled upon this video, you'd ask yourself what did this man George Floyd do to be so brutalized before all the world? Did he separate babies and young children from their parents? Did he send another country weapons of mass destruction to destroy the livelihood of whole villages of people in Yemen? Maybe he thought that American workers shouldn't make at least 15 dollars an hour. Maybe he just couldn't see the necessity for equality and came charging out the store denouncing the voters rights for people who look like him. Who in his community needs such rights?

But none of this was the case. A store clerk thought maybe Floyd was passing a $20 counterfeit. Maybe?

Chauvin focused his attention on Floyd.

So much has happened since. But you don't forget.

"They are going to kill me."

Floyd is handcuffed and face down. But we see him, faced pressed on the ground. There's the white police officer, massive, knee on Floyd's neck, hands in his pocket, comfortably looking at the camera while killing George Floyd.

And the state is wondering where in the world will they pull a jury in the Chauvin trial, a jury a group of people who haven't viewed the video or discussed the killing. For most humans with a heart, the eight minute and forty-six second video is a mini horror film. Someone, not an actor, is dying right before their eyes. Maybe many of those who stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021 would have cheered Chauvin on. But most Americans were horrified.

Jacob Blake is shot seven times by Kenosha Police officer Rusten Sheskey on August 23, 2020. Blake managed to survive the assault but remains paralyzed. And was Sheskey charged with seriously injury Blake, a Black man. This is America where democracy may have its proponents, but it also has its enemies.

In the year of COVID-19, Americans began reading the headlines and the stats. More Blacks, Latinx, and other populations of color were prone to succumbing to the virus. In the early days of the virus lockdown, I remember living in a senior complex were the blood-hair, thirty-or forty-something manager proudly announced she didn't have to wear a mask! Oh, no! More and more white Americans not only announced their resistance to mask mandates but some also declared the COVID virus a hoax. I heard this year on a Kenosha radio show that no one was dying from it!

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Dr. Lenore Daniels Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Activist, writer, American Modern Literature, Cultural Theory, PhD.

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