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ANGELA WEISS/AFP

Remembering George Floyd

One year ago today, a six-year-old girl lost her father. Four siblings lost their big brother. A community lost a friend and neighbor. And then, the world watched his final breaths in horror.

The name George Floyd has become synonymous with the largest global civil rights movement in history, spurring protests in solidarity across roughly 60 countries. But first and foremost, George Floyd was a human being cut down by forces of systemic bigotry and brutality that have stolen Black lives for centuries.

In the months before and after Floyd’s murder, many more Black and brown lives have been senselessly lost to state violence—Breonna Taylor, Ma’Khia Bryant, Daunte Wright, Tony McDade, Adam Toledo, among others. Each of these tragedies reveal to some the anti-Black racism that has long been evident and experienced by too many. And they challenge us to dismantle racial inequality and white supremacy in all its forms.

So, rather than settle for incremental solutions or empty promises, or accept a false choice between safety and justice, let us seize the time. Let us listen to people and communities closest to the trauma and take our lead from them. In partnership with people and movements on the ground, such as Movement for Black Lives and many others, let us reimagine public safety, build understanding and beloved community, and advance the cause of justice.

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