“Hate begets hate; violence begets violence, toughness begets a greater toughness. We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love…Our aim must never be to default or humiliate the white man, but to win his friendship and understanding.” (Martin Luther King, Jr.)
George Floyd’s death was truly a tragedy on every level, and one that should never have happened. Sadly, police brutality and their use of excessive force continues to be a problem in our country and far too often it’s been with persons of color. Oscar Grant, Rodney King, Anthony Baez, John T. Williams, Christopher Harris, these are just a few of the many names of others who like Floyd, were victims of police brutality. While I’m in total support for change to come in our country to prevent police brutality from happening anymore, I’m not in support of it ever coming through acts of violence.
Martin Luther King, Jr. is one of my hero’s, and someone I’ve always modeled in my own code of conduct in life. King believed in non-violence and peaceful demonstrations. He stood in the face of hatred and received many-a-beating, all unfairly, and yet never once fought back. In the end, it was his non-violence movement that helped to establish greater equal rights for blacks in our country. But, it’s apparent we still have a long way to go to fully achieve that, as evident in George Floyd’s tragic death.
The problem with violence as King once said, is that it only creates more violence. So, with Floyd’s death being a violent crime in itself by an officer of the law, the response from much of the public soon became a desire to give violence back. In the days that followed Floyd’s passing, demonstrations initially peaceful turned violent, leading to looting, fires, altercations, anger, and rage, none of which accomplished anything except the creation of greater fear and more violent responses from the police, which in turn is only going to lead to more wrongful deaths of people of color in the future. It remains a vicious cycle and thus, the main goal of reducing police brutality never even gets a chance to begin because as King observed in his time, violence never creates peace.
I get people are angry surrounding all this and rightfully so. Something truly has to be done about the police brutality in our country. But the answer’s not violence, as that’s only going to lead to more of the very same thing. Sometimes I really wish Martin Luther King, Jr. was still alive, as I know he’d have the answer on how to fix this, which I most assuredly would be following his lead. I can even see myself going to his first public demonstration surrounding this, all in the hopes of doing my part in helping to achieve greater peace, unconditional love, and equality for all, as the last thing I want is to ever let my own anger get the best of me, where I resort to some violent outburst that’s only going to lead to more violence and more police brutality.
I pray to be a vessel of peace, unconditional love, and equality for all.
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson