“We’re going to have to keep things closed for a while,” said President Trump after a night of protests over the murder of George Floyd by police officers in Minnesota. “Folks, there’s a pandemic happening and it’s very serious! We need to make sure no one is out protesting America’s insistence on killing unarmed black people and spreading the virus.”
The statements mark an about-face from the President who just last week called for a complete reopening of society and praised throngs of armed, almost all white protesters advocating for social distancing restrictions to be lifted.
“Oh, that was very different,” said Trump. “Those were patriots fighting for their economic freedom and were very good people, and these are just a bunch of…” Trump paused, reminding himself to not say the N-Word, “well, let’s just say these are just a lot of very bad, nasty people.”
The Avocado spoke to several white thirtysomethings on Facebook who believe the public’s reaction to George Floyd’s death indicates that America’ is finally acknowledging the harmful effects of systemic racism in a way that the murders of Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Renisha McBride, Eric Garner, John Crawford, Michael Brown, Laquan Mcdonald, Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray, Jamar Clark, Anton Sterling, Diamond Reynolds, Charles Kinsey, Walter Scott, Oscar Grant III, Philando Castile, Sandra Bland, Botham Jean, Atatiana Jefferson, Ahmaud Arbery and hundreds of others did not.
“I think this is really going to start to change things,” posted a well-intentioned woman named Denise on Facebook before signing a petition demanding “Justice for George” and then spending the next three hours unironically commenting on videos of black people looting a Target in Minnesota that she thinks that sort of behavior is disgusting and that someone should call the police on them immediately.
“America has a long way to go toward racial equality,” posted Denise to her 873 followers, even receiving a like from Daniel, a former colleague and the one black friend she has on Facebook. Daniel had started to write out an explanation on how equality is not possible without systemic change but decided to just spend the time it would take to educate his well-meaning white acquaintance with his son who was still too young to know how broken this world is.