Syrian artists have painted a mural to honor George Floyd, and show their solidarity with black Americans. British protesters knelt in front of Trafalgar Square for nine minutes, the length of time Derek Chauvin took to murder George Floyd, raising their fists in the air. Germans marched, and four German soccer players knelt on the field with one player revealing “JUSTICE FOR GEORGE FLOYD” written on his jersey. German graffiti artist “EME Freethinker” painted a mural of George on a section of the Berlin Wall.
In the Iranian city of Mashhad, a candlelight vigil was held to remember George Floyd, with Iranians hanging up Black Lives Matter posters, and sketches of George.
While the world protests, while the world honors the memory of George Floyd, while Canadians march and protest against injustice towards black people around the world, and against the death of Regis Korchinski-Paquet, while the world mourns George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and so many other black men and women who have died at the hands of police, one man does not mourn.
Donald Trump has done nothing to show empathy towards George Floyd. He called George’s family, but according to George’s brother Philonise, Trump wouldn’t let him speak. During an interview on MSNBC, Philonise Floyd said “He didn’t give me an opportunity to even speak. It was hard. I was trying to talk to him, but he just kept, like, pushing me off, like ‘I don’t want to hear what you’re talking about.’ “
Joe Biden put on a mask and went out to talk with protesters. Trump hid in a bunker. Kamala Harris was outside in DC, clapping and chanting. Trump tweeted “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.” The sheriff of Flint, Michigan, removed his helmet, threw down his baton, and told protesters “I will walk with you.” Trump puffed out his chest and tried to declare the ANTIFA movement a terrorist organization.
We need a leader with empathy, a leader who can console and comfort, and who can inspire change. We do not have that in Donald Trump. We are a rudderless ship being captained by a man hellbent on our destruction.
But even in the midst of these tragedies, even as the Proud Boys and other white supremacist and neo-Nazi organizations are not designated hate groups by this administration, there is hope. Police all over America are marching with protesters, kneeling with protesters, talking with protesters, and in one case, holding a black teenage boy who cannot stop crying.
It’s a start. In spite of Donald Trump, in spite of his racist supporters, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and Mike Brown and Sandra Bland and Philando Castile and Freddie Gray and Tamir Rice and so many others will not be forgotten, will not be erased. And in spite of Donald Trump’s incendiary rhetoric, in spite of his vocal support for police brutality, good people are rising up to use their voices against racism and violence.
Do not forget George Floyd. Do not forget that while Derek Chauvin has been arrested, the other three police officers who helped him murder George have not. Do not forget that none of the police officers who murdered Breonna Taylor have been arrested. Use that knowledge, use that anger, and begin to fix the system that brought us to this point in history.
Because while the world mourns, Donald Trump does not.