top of page


Human history is littered with iconic images and film footage. Take your pick

from the atomic bomb erupting over Hiroshima, the assassination of Kennedy,

the fall of the Berlin Wall and so on. In May of last year, another piece of film

footage, albeit an utterly horrifying one, entered the annals of shared human

existence. That was the murder of George Floyd by a state-paid assassin

masquerading as a law enforcement officer, Derek Chauvin. We won’t linger

on the gory details of George’s death – it is so well known and gets worse every

time you watch it or ponder on it.

The US and the rest of the world is now waiting on justice to come crashing

down on Chauvin’s head and rightly so. Passions though are running at

stratospheric levels and the feel of Minneapolis and other major American cities

right now is that of a tinder box. Sadly, American justice has more often than

not let down the black victims of police brutality and allowed the assailants to

literally get away with murder. Surely Chauvin will be convicted of second-

degree murder? Right? Well hopefully, yes. And if he isn’t? What if he walks

free or is convicted of a more minor charge?

The political implications, not to mention the optics, of black mobs running riot

and burning down shops, businesses and city centers would be a disaster. Even

more so given that that would be on Vice President Kamala’s watch. That is a

tsunami of negative public relations and fruit that is so low-hanging that it is on

the floor for Republicans, Trumpers, white supremacists and racists. Just

imagine Fox News or OANN gushing over those images, screaming “BLM is

Marxist” or “Antifa are at it again” – best run for your gun and back the thin

blue line even more than before.

Chauvin’s trial can end in two monumental ways for the country. The first is

that Chauvin is convicted, sentenced to decades in prison and the country enters

into a meaningful discussion about the obvious problem of police brutality

against black Americans. The second is that that outcome is not achieved,

justice is betrayed, tempers boil over and the mobs take to the streets across the

length and breadth of the US.

While the second scenario is, to some degree understandable, in this case, at this

pivotal moment in American justice, race relations and the role that law

enforcement should have as opposed to takes, that simply cannot happen. Feel

outraged – yes. Feel angry – yes. Feel numb, scared and bewildered – yes.

That myriad of emotions are to be expected. What can’t happen is for yet more

images of black Americans rioting to be beamed into the living rooms of

America and around the world. Our movement against injustice and oppression

needs to evolve politically, not violently. No matter what the outcome of

Chauvin’s trial, we have to stay at home and box clever by declaring cyber-war

against the forces of racism and fascism that have for too long been ingrained

into the fabric of American society:

If we really want justice for George, above and beyond what conviction

Chauvin does or doesn’t receive, then we have to be more savvy than a Molotov

cocktail and a looted shop-front. Like a bad drug, at the time it feels good but

then in the longer term it is totally counter-productive and only plays into the

hands of those that would continue to oppress us.

Nobody should die in such a way as George Floyd. Nobody should die at the

hands of police brutality in general come to that. Especially so brutality that

comes from systemic racism. But neither do we want to find ourselves

demonized once more as nothing more than anarchists, arsonists and looters,

quickly over-shadowing both what was at stake during the trial and for the

bigger picture of the totality of American society, including what it really means

to be a non-white person in America and the role that the police have and

should have.

Just after Chauvin had killed George Floyd, he continued to be filmed. For a

brief second, he puffs out his chest and pulls back his shoulders in a macho

display of “well, that’s another job well done, my feathers aren’t ruffled at all.”

It was a sickening snapshot of a sick man having just committed a sick deed.

That Chauvin needs to be jailed is beyond doubt. Whether that happens is

something else. So while Minneapolis and beyond brace themselves for

potential riots in their streets, ask yourself this what would George have really

wanted? More stereotyping, profiling, harassment and murders of black

Americans? Or a new movement, committed to the fight, but operating from

home in a cyber-space battleground, with a better than ever chance of

condemning white supremacy and brutality to the trash can of history forever?


bottom of page