Jul 16, 2022
Two years after the Black Lives Matter demonstrations that sent Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race to the top of the bestseller lists, its author assesses how far we’ve come, in an edited extract from an updated edition of the book
25 May 2020. Minneapolis, Minnesota. George Floyd is leaving a shop after paying for a packet of cigarettes with a fake $20 bill. In line with the workplace’s policy, a member of staff has called the police. George is arrested, handcuffed, and led to the police car. It’s at this point that he begins to display severe distress. Police officers restrain him, and one of them takes up a position on top of him, placing his knee on top of George’s neck. George protests and says he can’t breathe, but he receives no reprieve from the officer killing him. Then, he seems to accept his fate. “Mom, love you,” he says. “Tell my kids I love them.” Soon after, he stops talking. It is only when paramedics arrive that the knee is lifted. George’s body is put on to a stretcher, his limbs loose and floppy. An hour later, he is declared dead at a hospital nearby.
On 26 May, video footage of the murder, filmed by a teenage bystander, is uploaded to social media. Protesters gather in Louisville, Minneapolis and Glynn County, united by the same cry: Black Lives Matter. The protests quickly spread across the United States. Continue reading...