Yesterday was a historic day in our nation. The conviction of former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd, back in May, has set an all-new precedent. No one is above the law. All lives deserve to be treated with dignity. Murder is heinous and unconscionable. And racism is a stain on our society.
Back in June, a week after Floyd’s murder, we released a “Statement From Allegiant Experts”. In it, we reflected on the fact that we acknowledge and appreciate the work of law enforcement. We need the police to serve and protect us all. Upholding the law and keeping us all safe is the cornerstone of a police officer’s job. When officers fail to perform as they were trained and thus, endanger the public, they must be held accountable.
In our statement, we called for love and peace.
“Our entire team strongly believes in a ‘love thy neighbor’ policy,” we wrote, “It is one that is devoid of passing judgment on any individual based on his or her race, ethnic background, religion, sexual orientation or physical appearance. While this may be difficult to do, at the moment, we’re reminded daily about the many wonderful things about the human race that do, in fact, make us human.”
With Chauvin now awaiting sentencing, the nation – and the world – waits with bated breath to see just what type of punishment is considered just for someone who annihilated his duties as a police officer. It will also shed a very impressionable light on the cause for social justice. Floyd’s murder sparked what is arguably the largest civil rights movement in our nation. It should be lost on no one that anti-black racism continues to thrive in a time when it should have been eradicated long ago.
Hatred towards the black community has long plagued our nation.
Back in November, we drew attention to the very unfortunate 100 year anniversary of the Ocoee Massacre. As we explained, on November 2, 1920, members of the white supremacist hate group, Ku Klux Klan converged on an African-American community in the town of Ocoee, Florida near Orlando.
It was the day of the U.S. presidential election and the objective of this hateful mob was to either drive out our kill the town’s black residents to prevent them from voting. The Klan essentially waged a war against the people of northern Ocoee killing upwards of 50 residents. These residents included highly-respected church deacon, Julius “July” Perry. The Klan brutalized him, shot him and hanged him from a light post.
Racism must end.
We recall these atrocities not to elicit any further anger and hate. Our wish is for the opposite to occur. Haven’t we all had enough of the constant brutalization of people of color? It is a centuries-old tradition that has no place in modern society. It never has had a place in any society. With Chauvin likely set to spend the rest of his life behind bars, our hope is that the following message has been sent.
Love thy neighbor. To paraphrase Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we should not judge people by the color of their skin, but instead by the content of their character.