In Memoriam: George Floyd

In Memoriam: George Floyd

John Minchillo

With much careful thought, I have decided to leave political views out of this particular article in order to avoid controversies. Occupying every social media platform are posts, videos, photos, and influencers projecting personal views and opinions on the chaotic and hurt-filled world we live in. With different views and perspectives come negative outcomes like arguments and violence, but also good things like change and reformation. All of that aside, that is not what this article is about. For just a mere moment, I am simply going to talk about a man who lost his life.

George Floyd. A brother, father, cousin, son, friend, co-worker, but most significantly, a man. “Everybody loved him. You wouldn’t be able to find a single person who knew him who didn’t love him and wouldn’t tell you about his gentle spirit, his loving spirit,” said Tera Brown, Floyd’s cousin. 

George Floyd was 46 years old. He was described as a hard-worker and someone who was friendly to people without discrimination. Despite any race, he was a human being. Someone who, no matter where he stood in the world, had an entire future bestowed upon him. Just the same as any living person, he was granted a lifetime to choose what and who it is he wanted to become. The privilege to change and grow into and out of any conformities or stereotypes. He lost that privilege with his final gasps for air. 

On May 25, 2020, his life was taken as a police officer’s knee crushed his neck, stopping his breathing. While this disgusting act of humanity shakes America into realizing the prominence of racism and privilege, his life should be remembered for more than just the immediate heartbreak it bestowed upon citizens everywhere. Floyd was also a father, a friend. He had a life just like all of us. 

Jovanni Thunstorm was Floyd’s boss at his security job at Conga Latina Bistro. In an interview, Thunstorm explained, “He wasn’t only my employee, he was my best friend.” 

In another interview, Floyd’s childhood friend, Harris, explained how George was looking to start over in Minneapolis. “He was looking to start over fresh, a new beginning,” Harris said. “He was happy with the change he was making.” 

There is no repudiating the fact that Floyd had a complicated past. Initially, I felt the need to explain the details of his previous misdemeanors because I thought without it I was not putting into perspective who he was as a person. However, I soon realized that it is not of importance to discuss the past when acknowledging a murder. Despite the background one has, no one deserves to be stripped of the right to live. 

One anonymous student quipped, “people are praising him as if a hero was killed.” 

With the risk of seemingly undermining the extent of his former transgressions, the purpose of this article is not to delve into the past of a victim to determine whether or not his murder is justified. While he will be viewed and remembered in different ways, it is no argument that George Floyd has become the face of something bigger than himself. No matter where one stands politically, there is no changing what happened on May 25, 2020. George Floyd was murdered. He was robbed of any chance he had to improve upon the person he used to be. Deprived of the simplest right that it is to breathe. His life was taken from him for nothing. There is no justifying that.

None of this feels right or real because it’s not right; it shouldn’t be real.”

There are no words to really fill the void that is the loss of a life. There is no bandage sufficient enough to mend the broken heart of a mother who just lost her son or a daughter who will never see her father again. Although I risk sounding insincere, my heart is forever broken. The pit in your stomach as you turn away from the video of George Floyd being brutally murdered is not there for nothing. This is not humanity. This is not what it means to be human. We need to stop turning away. None of this feels right or real because it’s not right; it shouldn’t be real. As George Floyd faded into unconsciousness, he began to call out for his mom. Resorting back to that state of mind is one of the most hopeless and devastating calls for help. A simple action, but it shows how human he really was, merely crying out for his mom in a time of complete terror and pain. If this shows nothing else let it show you this:

At the end of the day, George Floyd was just a man.

As stated before, this article stands not with the purpose of being scrutinized for any form of political view, but with the intention of remembering a man whose life was taken from him. It would be untrue to say George Floyd died for nothing. His death has caused a change in America that can not be ignored. As violence prevails, and protests continue, remember that violence is the reason for hurt. It is the reason I am here writing about a murdered man. There is no solution, no outcome, rooted in violence that will fix our broken world.