What, pray tell, was it like in the past? When malfeasance could be cloaked in darkness? When authorities would be believed with impunity? When, in the minds of some, America was great?
What was it like when the death of George Floyd at the knee of a Minneapolis police officer could occur in the shadows and then be obfuscated by some specious police report? Back then, our ignorance of such events could be an excuse for denial, if a flimsy one. But now? Now there is no plausible way to ignore the facts.
You’ve likely seen the video. Of Floyd lying on the ground, handcuffed, while Officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck. Of a 46-year-old African American man saying he can’t breathe, calling for his mother, and then becoming unconscious. The officer continued to kneel on Floyd for four minutes after the man stopped moving.
And you’ve likely witnessed the aftermath. Of riots, looting and fires in Minneapolis. Of the burning of a police precinct building. Of protests in other cities.
But you might not have considered how this age of cellphone cameras and security cameras on every corner have altered the discussion. How the prevalence of video evidence leaves us no room to plead ignorance and continue to pretend that black lives are not treated by some as expendable. How moral outrage is the only possible reaction from all Americans to the death of George Floyd. And Ahmaud Arbery. And Breonna Taylor.