by Dr. Herbert “H. J.” Harris
(TriceEdneyWire.com)—There is a smell of justice in the air with the conviction of George Floyd’s murderer. But let us not celebrate too soon. The cancer of hatred and racism is still very much alive and well in America.
The conviction of Derek Chauvin, George Floyd’s murderer, is only the tip of the iceberg of hatred and racism that thrives in the heart, minds, and spirits of many Americans. Hatred and systemic racism festers beneath the surface in the underbelly of this country.
In the shadow of the trial of George Floyd’s murderer—barely 10 miles away—Duante Wright, an unarmed Black man was killed by a police officer. A few miles away in Chicago, a 13-year-old boy was killed by police—as the body cam video showed—with his hands up. Now weeks after justice prevailed for George Floyd, Andrew Brown Jr.—another Black man—was killed by sheriff’s deputies in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, reportedly by a shot to the back of the head.
The sheriff and the county attorney have insulted the family and the world. They took 120 hours to show the family only 20 seconds of an edited video from only one of the many cameras that should have recorded Andrew Brown’s killing. The question is why are the videos being edited or withheld? Is a law enforcement coverup taking place?
In the case against George Floyd’s murderer, what would have been the narrative if a teenager had not used her cell phone to record the knee on George Floyd’s neck for over 8 minutes.
Consider the original police statement regarding the death of George Floyd.
According to the Associated Press (April 23, 2021), “The original Minneapolis police statement attributed Floyd’s death to ‘medical distress’ and made no mention that the Black man had been pinned to the ground at the neck by Chauvin, or that he’d cried out that he couldn’t breathe.”
The Associated Press report continues: “If it wasn’t for this 17-year-old who took the video, Derek Chauvin would in all likelihood still be on the police force training officers,” said Andre Johnson, a University of Memphis professor of communication studies. “Sadly, this has been going on for a while, and it’s just now coming to light for a lot of Americans because of video evidence.”
Quoting from page 147 of my book, Solving the Race Issue In America, “The primary difference between civil rights struggle of Black people before the 1950’s and the struggle after the 1950’s was the advent of television. America’s track record in dealing with Black Americans shows the absence of a true moral compass. Through television, the whole world can see how America actually treats Black Americans. The whole world can see in vivid pictures that there is a contradiction between the image America projects to the world—land of the free, home of the brave, with liberty and justice for all—and the reality of how it treats its own Black Americans.” (www.solvingtheraceissue.com)
The conviction of George Floyd’s murderer has given hope and inspired good people —Black and White Americans—to continue their fight for justice.
The good people in America are now pressing America to live up to its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Good Americans of every color will continue marching, protesting and praying for freedom, equality, and justice.
In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, spoken at the 1963 March on Washington, “Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.”
The battle is far from over. The forces of hatred and racism are active in perpetuating lies, distractions, and divisions that undermine the spiritual healing that must take place if America is to survive and be a true light to the world.
Let us trust our eyes and ears. Television, cell phone videos, and the internet can show the truth when others lie or coverup.
The video did not lie when Rodney King was beaten. It did not lie when Walter Scott was shot in the back by a police officer. The video did not lie when a police officer kneeled on George Floyd’s neck for over 9 minutes. It showed the truth of how Duante Wright was shot and killed by a police officer.
Thank God for television, cell phones, videos, and the Internet. These tools of discernment help America and the world see the truth about hatred and racism that consumes the soul of our nation.
We cannot move forward to heal this nation until America and Americans acknowledge the truth—that hatred and systemic racism are ingrained in the heart and soul of America. Only the truth will set us free.
(Dr. Herbert (H.J.) Harris, author of “Solving The Race Issue In America” (www.solvingtheraceissue.com), is a graduate of Columbia University.)