Why?

Kids ask, ‘why?’ all the time. We adults, get our tongues tied trying to answer them. They challenge us to try to explain the unexplainable.

Worldwide we’ve been dealing with a lot over the last few months. The inner storms we are trying to keep under control: our emotions, thinking, doubts, fears, regrets…, are real. They do have an eventual effect on our health.

How do we explain ‘why’ George Floyd was murdered on the ground handcuffed in broad daylight by a police officer when George was unarmed and doing everything the police were asking him to do?

Do we say, ‘Oh, he was killed for (allegedly) trying to pass off a fake 20 dollar-bill…’

His murder was something that blew the lid off the boiling pot not just for our black communities but for everyone across the globe. This is America? The Land of the Free?

This was not a racial issue. This was murder, propelled by corruption. I wasn’t shocked at the outcry and protests. I would have been shocked and terrified if there was no protest.

There is hope.

I would answer the child’s ‘why?’ by saying George Floyd lost his life to a corrupt man and his cohorts. They should all be implicated in this crime as accomplices.

Officer Chauvin was vested with a mighty power, and guns, and the right to arrest and invade the privacy of anyone, he wanted. A right, and a uniform, only a morally minded person should be allowed to wear.

He knew what he was doing and he did it out of range of his camera.

It has come out that Chauvin had 16 counts of complaints in his department’s police record. He’s gotten out of line before. To say Chauvin was just a ‘racist’ is to demote his actions and lessen his crime and character. He killed someone. He was acting as a calculating murderer. Officers know that we will die in 4 minutes, without oxygen. George was held down in a chokehold for eight full minutes. His oxygen was cut off, as was the blood flow to his brain, due to Chauvin leaning on his neck with his knee. He knew what he was doing and he did it out of range of his camera.

How did Officer Chauvin do what he did without one of his fellow officers moving in to interfere? There were four of them. Chauvin seemed fearless even in broad daylight, as he snuffed out George’s life. Onlookers pleaded with Chauvin to let George breathe. Chauvin and his fellow officers had every chance to stop.

We have so much to think about. So much positive change is needed.

If we learned anything during this period it is that we are very dependent on good leadership. We have little control over our lives. We don’t run the economy; we have little say what our political leaders do. It’s no wonder we are not all addicted to some kind of substance to elevate or calm our feelings. This murder has made us wonder more about the political realm, our laws, our safety. The riots have made many suspicious about provocateurs being sent it to set the fires… possibly for insurance purposes. Some say they are just anti-American trying to destroy America.

There were better times in the US.

There was a time when we left our front doors unlocked; when we knew our neighbors. Kids could play in their neighborhood and wouldn’t be preyed upon or kidnapped. Mothers could stay home and raise their children and weren’t made to feel like a second-class citizen for doing so. Divorce didn’t occur 50% of the time. There were no latch key kids. There was a time when men and women didn’t look at each other as enemies or competitors. There was a time and man and woman met and married, not based upon what they would ‘get’ from the other. They married for love. Rape was unheard of or very rarely occurred.

What happened? Is this the outcome of progress, or is it a lack of moral fiber? We need to think about it. We need to ask, ‘why?’

Laurie Hill
Laurie Hill
Laurie Hill holds a Liberal Arts degree from Pennsylvania State University and a Certificate for Writing Social Commentary, (2006). Having traveled to many countries she is a passionate promoter for world peace for all people and all religious thought, as long as its base is non-violent, and respects individual freedom. An aspiring novelist with three completed novels she is currently working to publish her third. She has resided in Jeddah for twenty-eight years.

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  1. Thank you for sharing and taking time to write this Thoughtful article, Laurie.

    I am heartbroken and outraged at the same time. I’m outraged that a man was murdered by a fellow human being who had at one time taken an oath to serve and protect. I’m outraged other officers who had sworn that same oath stood by and did nothing. I am outraged that other humans circled, videoed, and gawked BUT did nothing to come to one man’s aid.

    I’m heartbroken for the thousands of police officers who do serve with valor who have integrity who his proper sense of justice and go to work every shift to protect. But today they are suspect and thrown into the stereotype of bad cop. Nothing could be further from the truth. Let’s not lump all police officers into the category of the ones that make headlines because they are cruel, deceitful, and without valor.

    I’m heartbroken that after all these years there is such a thing as racism. Skin is one tiny factor of the human. There are so many other things that comprise a human being. Heart, intellect, blood, brain, abilities, strength, personality, character, and the list could go on infinitely.

    End of rant.

    • Jane — You make an excellent point about lumping every cop together. The same could be said for the protesters. Not everyone protesting is a rioter, but it’s so easy for the casual observer to lump them together. To separate them is to admit that what the protesters are doing is valid.

    • I understand and agree with everything you’ve said Jane. I’m with you. There’s nothing worse than stereotyping. I never mean to sound that way because I certainly know it’s a bad way of looking at things.
      It’s a generous kind fair rant! thank you.

  2. Laurie —
    Sometimes my comments can come across as strident – too strident. I apologize if I did here. I guess I feel strongly about our nations’s foundational, historic intolerance: race, religion, gender, sexual orientation. There is an unwritten “norm,” and if you don’t conform to that, you’re likely to experience intolerance at some point. Thanks again for expressing your views.

  3. I feel you Laurie…those days from the past some have never known…leadership is very questionable, the cost of living was raised..wages were not… one parent couldn’t stay home. So much has made the world what it is today.. I’m pretty clear about the why? I feel like How? Is in my head more.. and now we are asking What can we do… this is a time where leaders are emerging from the crowds…and dying for it. I’m seeing and hearing a lot… people are either becoming more divided or showing that they are united… a lot to think of. Murder is wrong. No doubts there. My heart is torn at what is unfolding. As a parent of multi racial daughters? I’ve always said that no one is better than anyone….🙏

    • Great comment Paula. Good point: wages never kept up with the cost of living. And, the country I’m in is a copy paste of the usa. They are raising sales tax to a staggering 15% come July. Wages were already horrible. My son who is a thermal mechanical engineer wants to leave to earn more. I don’t blame him.
      I was raised by a great woman who taught her kids not to judge another person until you’ve walked in their shoes. amen sister
      Thank you Paula. xoxo

  4. Laurie — I am totally with you, but there was always, always darkness operating under the surface and often on the surface during what may seem “better times.” We haven’t suddenly become who we are today. Our DNA isn’t pretty.

    You are spot on with this statement: “If we learned anything during this period it is that we are very dependent on good leadership.” We must remember that come November.

    • I’m aware of the darkness Jeff. I was old enough to know the day President Kennedy was shot; I know about McCarthyism …. KKK…. etc…. The War on Terror itself will be whitewashed, has been whitewashed and there’s numerous scapegoating and smoke screens in that story. The truth? Who really knows except those who led the campaign. Too many years have passed, too many lives taken… disgracefully we have made enemies around the world.
      The hope is: people are wide awake now and we need to keep pushing, keep talking and let the dark underworld who are leading us know we aren’t going to sit back in our easy chairs even if we’re 75 years old–God bless the man in Brooklyn who was knocked out cold by one of our men in blue… we shouldn’t tolerate this kind of abuse any longer–it makes us look bad.

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