2020 has been an incredibly difficult year for almost every single person on this planet. First the COVID-19 crisis which has taken over 400,000 lives worldwide, coupled with the Black Lives Matter movement which was revitalised with the death of George Floyd. Peaceful protestors fighting against police brutality after often injured by police violence as authorities use teargas and pepper-spray.
Both the outbreak of COVID-19 as well as the Black Lives Matter protests exemplify how states were not prepared to deal with a global pandemic or face the reality experienced by African-Americans in the United States.
I believe COVID-19 reveals how many states were not prepared for a pandemic considering the shortages of personal protective equipment, such as masks, gloves and respirators for healthcare workers such as doctors and nurses working on the frontline who are trying to assist COVID-19 patients.
The Black Lives Matter movement also shows how US authorities such as police officers like Derek Chauvin should be held accountable for their actions. Chauvin, who worked for over 18 years in the Minneapolis Police Department, killed George Floyd by kneeling on his neck for 8 minutes.
Before the death of George Floyd, Chauvin was the subject of 18 prior complaints filed against him in the Internal Affairs Department of the Minneapolis Police.
Regarding the demands for justice of Floyd’s death, Chauvin been charged with second-degree manslaughter and third-degree murder and was also fired from the police department. Chauvin would be sentenced with up to 40 years in prison and his bail is up to 1.25 million.
The power of the Black Lives Movement is not just about fighting for the equality of African-Americans in the United States, but it has also created a sense for other groups to fight against racism and fight for their own equality. This has led to movements such as ‘Palestinian lives matter’ after Police of the Israeli Border killed an autistic Palestinian man, Iyad Halak.
2020 has been a chaotic year. I am thinking of all the different families effected by the loss of family members during the COVID-19 crisis, as well as the Black Lives Matter and Palestinian Lives Matter movements.