George Floyd matters…Black Lives matter!
by Ketcia Peters
30 April, 2021
Accountability! That’s the main purpose of democracy. We, the people, choose who’s going to represent us and who’s going to have the legitimacy to make decisions in a democracy. We hold them accountable for what they do and we ultimately decide whether they’re good or bad representatives. In case they’re good and their decision-making process succeeds in bettering things we vote for them again. On the other hand, we vote representatives out and choose for others if things are not doing adequately.
Because we hold them accountable for their choices, and if those don’t work we have the power to remove them.
People give legitimacy.
But what happens when an extension of this institution (such as the Police agency) does something inherently wrong? Who’s held accountable?
Well, it’s complicated. It’s not easy to fix systemic inaccuracies.
That’s one of the reasons why it’s so difficult to charge people with power with sentences or even fines.
Yet, sometimes, Justice finds its way.
The murder of George Floyd shocked the world and, in the beginning, it was complicated to say if and when the police officer responsible for Floyd’s death would have to paid for his crime. After all, Chauvin was an extension, soldier of the agency: he was legitimated by the rules of democracy.
Some of our behaviours are attached to our belief system and/or implicit bias, so it wasn’t immediate to say who was to be held accountable: was it the State/Agency or was it the man? Was it just a mistake or was it murder?
We do believe in democracy, as North-American we’re not vindictive per se, we truly believe in Justice. It is part of our way of life, our bias, our system.
We merely wanted Justice. We wanted someone accountable for the atrocity we witnessed. And Justice, for once, found its way.
Chauvin was found guilty of every charge.
George Floyd mattered. His death showed the world that when someone, even if an extension of the State, even if legitimated in a way, can be held accountable and will be.
Less than a week ago we didn’t know how accountability could work in cases like that, we were unsure.
Now we have a precedent, historically and morally.
Now we know that personal responsibility cannot be hidden under the veil of legitimacy.
Now we can fight for a change, we can point the finger at who’s responsible, we can have a chance to restore true, meaningful accountability.
Justice found its way, eventually.
George Floyd matters. Black lives matter!
Ketcia Peters is an entrepreneur and community advocate for economic inclusion and development for Black Canadians and the social justice sector. Her firm, Ketcia Peters Group Inc. (KPG) provides bilingual organizational and human development services to the public and private sector. This includes analysis and coaching of HR practices, strategic planning, organizational change, equity and inclusivity, and anti-racism. KPG also provides individual and group coaching. In recent years, KP Group Inc. has shifted to greatly expand its equity, diversity and inclusivity work at the municipal and community level, with a focus on anti-racism and anti-oppression. This work centers on a trauma-informed approach in order to ensure we do not cause further harm to those most marginalized in our communities. Visit her website at: https://ketciapeters.com/