"MY SKIN COLOR IS NOT A CRIME": A sign at a Black Lives Matter demonstration near the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on June 6, 2020. Photo by Indianz.Com (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

Native Sun News Today Editorial: Walking in the shoes of George Floyd

The past few weeks have been tumultuous, but unlike other times such as this, we believe that this is the one that will finally make a difference.

People of every color marched in the streets not just in the United States, but all over the world. There were as many or more white youngsters marching than people of color in some protests. The atrocious murder of George Floyd finally made many Americans say, “Enough is enough.”

And now comes the time when the protestors must find a way to actually bring about positive change. We have been here before way back in the 1960s with protests in Watts, California and beyond. And yet nothing changed. But what happened in Minneapolis was so over the top that it has resonated with more people than in the history of this country.

In nearly every city in America there is a police force. And in nearly every city there is a “police union.” And don’t doubt for one minute that those unions are not going to support their police officers no matter the circumstances.

The unions are powerful and have a mindset that will be nearly impossible to alter. Even if their members believe that what happened to George Floyd was wrong, they will stick together defending their own.

Perhaps the protests will push the state, county and city governments to seek reforms within the ranks of their police departments. Perhaps changes will be made that address police tactics like choke holds.

And perhaps race relations will become an integral part of police training, but it is the kind of people that put on the police uniform that make the difference.

In Rapid City, South Dakota DWI used to mean Driving While Intoxicated, but the local Lakota people changed it to Driving While Indian. If you saw a white man and a Native man arrested for the same offense, the white man would go free while the Native would end up in jail.

This is not a myth. This is what local Natives have witnessed and endured for as long as this city has stood.


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