You see armed police officers on George Floyd’s neck. He is clearly losing consciousness. The officers aren’t letting up. You have been yelling for several minutes, pleading for them to at least change their position. The officer suffocating Mr. Floyd, hands in pocket, looks lazily at his partner, who tells you to clear the area.
Mr. Floyd is still. His face is becoming discolored. He is still.
You rush the officers, knocking them down. The officers turn on you. You don’t resist. A mob begins to form. Their chants encircle the police officers. Before a billy club ushers you to unconsciousness, you see George Floyd’s chest moving as he wheezes for sweet, precious air. He lives. You also hear a gunshot. Darkness claims you.
You end up doing 15 years for assault on a police officer, among other things. The media reports you as angry and unstable. Secrets of your past become present as they dig up dirt on you. Someone else, inspired by your heroics, was killed as the police opened fired. A 13-year-old boy won’t get to see his younger sister grow up. The blame is laid at your feet.
The officers claim that they feared for their lives, which holds up in court; it was a mob, after all. Because Mr. Floyd survives, the foul play, the reason you got involved in the FIRST place, is not even highlighted. Unfortunately, it takes death to prove an injustice has occurred. Mr. Floyd lives, so your actions are deemed unnecessary.
As you do your time, you are comforted by the social media warriors who shine light on the incident. But all the attention seems to be about the boy who got shot trying to help. That was the shot you were unconscious for. The story is trending on social media. Another black boy killed by the system sworn to protect him. Another black boy killed for trying to do the right thing. Unfortunately, it takes death to prove injustice has occurred. He is the hero made martyr that becomes a focal point of a revolution.
You and Mr. Floyd are mere backdrops to the story, there as characters to give context to the REAL tragedy. You aren’t bitter. You rejoice with your brothers and sisters as the country seems to at least yawn, which is a step up from it’s usual lethargic state when it comes to social injustice. Laws are passed, policies are written up. Small steps, but something is better than nothing. You cheer from behind the bars of your jail cell.
Still wanna be a hero?