There are two images that continue to haunt me when watching George Floyd’s life drain away under the knee of a sadistic policeman. It’s the words Floyd gasped as he made his final pleas for mercy; “Please, sir” and a call for mom. Every Black man worth anything has to feel the pain and agony that would lead one of us to plead for mercy under a white man’s knee in a position of total submission. Any mother’s heart had to break when they heard his cry out to his dead mother.
Anyone expecting this story to go away anytime soon is sadly mistaken. Can you imagine surrendering your last ounce of dignity, face down in the street with your life slipping away in one final plea? “Please, sir,” I’ve done everything you asked. “Please, sir,” I’m face-down on the street with my friends and maybe family watching me be humiliated. “Please, sir, I can’t breathe,” I’m dying. In the first few minutes, he may have thought “What the hell is going on here? This can’t be really happening. Oh God, please get me out of this.” A few minutes later as the reality set in that this was more serious than he could imagine he figured that maybe showing submission would turn this into a better outcome. “Please, sir.” But it didn’t help.
However, it’s the second image that probably brought a tear to the eye of every mother. A parent losing a child is a pain every member of that circle doesn’t wish on their worst enemy. A mother losing a son might be even more traumatic. Every mother felt that sharp pain knowing the countless times they’ve heard their son call out for mom when they were in their most dire situation – even if it’s just a small cut or knee scrape. I don’t know for sure, but I imagine that when Floyd called out for his mom, as I’m sure he had countless times as a child, she answered as any mother would, and was there with him in spirit holding his hand as he took his final breath.
It’s those two gut-wrenching, soul-shattering images that lead people to take to the street and declare that enough is enough. Mayors, police chiefs, city councils, and police unions around the country better take the time to get it right. When people get tired of standing by and watching life get choked out of one of their friends, family, or neighbors they are going to take action on the spot. This will happen irrespective of the race, creed, or color of the person in blue that doesn’t recognize that people are tired of witnessing “murder by police”. At some point, the crowd mentality will take over and people are going to drop the phones and intervene to prevent another homicide by police. Let’s pray that it doesn’t come to that. If it does, that will be a bad day for all of us. It is this writer’s sincere hope that the police community is taking heed and not becoming entrenched at the protest and bring an end to police brutality against black people.
So, all I can say in closing is “Please, Sir,” I think you should listen to what this new diverse coalition of young people is telling you. They’ve had enough!