The death of George Floyd, May 25, 2020, has changed the way people talk about police reform and racial justice.
The year 2020 will be known for the outbreak of a disease, a presidential election that ended on a sour note, and a Black man who died from an overdose triggered by the police.
Millions around the world commented on his passing, but the conversation always narrows down to whether one was in favor of the police officers or an advocate for Black Lives Matter.
One thing is certain, inequality amongst races was a real problem before his death–and remains one 12 month later. .
A year before COVID-19 became the topic in every day life in February 2019, 78 percent of Black people said America had not done enough secure racial equality. Overall, 58 percent of Americans agreed, according to the Pew Research Center.
From June 2020 to September 2020, support for BLM dipped to due to sentiment about radicalization, but among Black people it was as high as 87 percent, according to an NBC News report using Pew Research shows.
RELATED CONTENT: Biden Hosting George Floyd’s Family at White House On One-Year Anniversary of His Death
“Black people were the ones that were sort of the most mobilized to learn more, to pay more attention and to take action in their own lives,” Juliana Horowitz, a senior researcher for the Pew Research Center, said
Throughout that summer, books about anti-Black racism and systems of inequality crowded the bestseller lists. There were new Black-led organizations and Black Lives Matter chapters, and policymakers pressured to take them into consideration. Half of the states. passed police reform laws that banned chokeholds and restricted use of force last May, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Furthermore, when the pandemic hit the United States, the first jobs to be eliminated or reduced were diversity-focused roles. However, Floyd saved those jobs as Black people and their allies did whatever they could to empower people of color and overthrow White supremacy.
“Before George Floyd, when the pandemic had hit, a lot of companies immediately laid off their diversity and inclusion teams,” Mandy Price, CEO and co-founder of Kanarys, a diversity, equity and inclusion specialist startup that helps other companies, told NBC News. “As companies faced economic uncertainty, many eliminated those teams or slashed their budgets.”
“Chief diversity officer in 2020 was the fastest-growing role” among C-suite positions,” Price said, adding that a report from LinkedIn showed the number of postings for chief diversity officers grew by 84 percent last year.
There is a renewed focused on supporting Black-owned businesses during the pandemic, and a growing campaign to believe Black women who have been victims of sexual assault and violence.
There are more appointed Black curators and program directors in fine art institutions, the New York Times reported, and there were nine people of color out of the 20 nominees for this year’s Academy Awards.
Georgia turned blue thanks to political organizations that connected with Black people.
As CBS reported, many are marching to Washington, D.C., to demand a sweeping police reform that includes a national database whenever an officer has used force, more funding for body cameras, a ban on all state officers from using chokeholds, and rolling back qualified immunity, which protects officers from getting sued for wrongdoings in civil court.