Note: This is a statement of solidarity with and for the current public responses to the police murder of George Floyd, late of Minneapolis, Minnesota by the Ethical Action Committee of the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture.
Today, millions of people around the world are on the brink of new thinking. New information is decimating old values and generating different perspectives about how we as Americans should live with each other. Having one’s life in the hands of sadistic, uniformed, gun-toting authorities is an impossible situation to negotiate especially when down on the ground, cuffed with someone’s knee on the throat. People are speaking out, calling for accountability by the police and their handlers — those at the top of civil authority — to change their MO (modus operandi), their way of conducting themselves in all quarters and at all times. Demonstrators are calling out to all federal, state, county, and city policing authorities. This is a national issue affecting police work on the street that we can see to the work in precincts and in jails and prison where we cannot see.
Now for those who didn’t know before, this treatment is a blueprint of the behaviors to which Blacks were subject in slavery. With help from our racial and class allies, these pro-Floyd responses have the momentum to be the catalyst to writing the next chapter in American life. Such improvement requires significant changes inclusive of having infrastructures in place with open channels ensuring increased inclusion of Black people through the American economy. Improving the police means permanently weeding out those with temperaments and attitudes of rabidity. Better policing will require fundamentally the revamping and reorientation of those in uniform, not just in rhetoric, but in behaviors and policy with heavy accountability for misconduct.