George Floyd, a black man, was killed in the streets of Minneapolis Minnesota on May 25th, 2020, by the Minneapolis police department. Officer Derek Chauvin, a white man, spent 8 minutes, 46 seconds with his knee on the neck of Mr. Floyd, cutting of circulation to Floyd’s brain, and therefore causing his death. Soon after this unjust killing, the world erupted. Protests and riots erupted from Los Angeles to London, all standing against racial injustice and the pitfalls of law enforcement. Chaos has erupted not only in Minneapolis, but all around the world. The chaos seemed especially apparent to me, as the killing happened only a couple of miles from my home. Some of the most successful protests and some of the most destructive riots happened in what felt like my own back yard. What was most apparent to me at the time was the instability that the riots brought due to the injustice from the killing of George Floyd. People were afraid to leave their homes past 5pm. People were afraid their homes could be burned down. Business owners were afraid their businesses would be looted, burned, or both. The store I personally work at was severely looted, and now it will likely go out of business. The chaos that the world saw in the week after George Floyd’s death was unstable and therefore not sustainable. But what is even less stable and less sustainable is the system that led to the killing of George Floyd in the first place. A system that allows for the kinds of injustice that happened to Mr. Floyd is a system that cannot sustain itself over time. Change is often externally forced if it is not internally and voluntarily embraced.
It’s important to address this issue on this blog because all too often people associate sustainability only with environmental concerns. When many people think about sustainability, they think about what they can do to better the environment, whether it’s changing their lifestyle or donating to organizations that fight environmental degeneration. It is easy to forget about the importance of social sustainability. If we want to reap the benefits and luxuries of living in this country, we must care about the factors that systems that keep this country afloat. If there are injustices that put the public in danger within a system this country relies on to keep its citizens safe, that system will not last in its current form, and the luxuries we experience in this country are at risk. If you stand for sustainability, you stand against the injustices we have experienced from law enforcement here in Minneapolis, Minnesota. If you stand for sustainability, you stand for systems that promote the well-being of the masses and impose justice fairly. If you stand for sustainability, you stand for George Floyd.