His Name Is George Floyd: One Man’s Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice Book Review

Change can happen in a number of ways. One of the ways is a single moment that catalyzes a movement and forces change.

That moment was the murder of George Floyd two years ago. It forced all of us to open our eyes to the structural racism that has plagued this nation and limited African-Americans for centuries. His Name Is George Floyd: One Man’s Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice, by Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa, was published earlier this month. The book not only traces Floyd’s life, it tells the story of how structural racism affected his family going back generations.

We get to know the man behind the image. He was a sweet, intelligent person who loved his family and had ambitions beyond what was expected of him. Had Floyd (whose family knew him as Perry) not been limited simply because of his skin color, Floyd might have done great things with his life. But, as we all know, his life was cut short in a tragic and horrific manner.

I think this book is a necessary read for all of us. It is a condemnation of all of us who were previously unable or unwilling to take off our blinders. It is a reminder that hate kills. There is no going back and undoing what has been done. We can only move forward and do everything we can to prevent it from happening again.

Do I recommend it? Without a doubt. I would not be surprised if it was not only on the bestseller list for a long time to come, but also on many “best-of” lists by the end of the year.

His Name Is George Floyd: One Man’s Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice is available wherever books are sold.

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Let’s Talk About the Real Baby Killers (Hint: It’s Not Pro-Choice Activists)

We all know that children are our most precious resource. Without the next generation, our future is non-existent. As we all know, 19 of those precious resources were taken from us earlier on Tuesday in Uvalde, Texas.

Those who are pro-life and against Roe V. Wade argue that abortion is nothing more than the killing of babies. I would argue the opposite. Republicans who are vocally against gun control laws are the real baby killers.

In the three days since the murders, Texas leadership has placed the blame on every issue except one: the fact that the gunman was able to easily get access to a firearm. The only one of them to speak the truth is Beto O’Rourke. When he dared to confront public officials, he was booted out of the room and called all sorts of names.

Courtesy of Facebook.

What I find completely ironic and sad is that while Governor Greg Abbott placed at the feet of responsibility among other things, mental health, he authorized cutting millions of dollars of mental health aid from the state budget.

When I think of both of these topics entwined together, I think of the younger generation who has been traumatized by these events. Not just the kids who are hearing about this on the news or from adults, but the ones who were there. The scars of hearing and/or watching their classmates and teachers being killed will likely create scars that will stay with the survivors for decades.

I remember that right after Columbine happened, there were some who condemned the band, Marilyn Manson, for the killings. I’ve never had even an iota of interest in their music. The problem is that instead of looking inward to understand what led to the tragedy, the accused were outside actors who in reality, had nothing to do with the problem.

It’s been three days and my heart still hurts. The only silver lining is that this may be the figurative fire that finally forces us to codify legislation, both at the national and state level that stops this kind of event. The question is if our lawmakers have the balls and the backbone to do so.

P.S. The husband of one of the teachers who tried to save her students died from a heart attack, unable to deal with the grief. I can only imagine what their kids are going through, having lost both of their parents.

Z”L

Flashback Friday: Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle (2003)

When a film is successful, the obvious response from the powers that be is to greenlight a sequel. Whether or not that second film has the same success as its predecessor is not as certain.

The 2003 movie, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle is the follow-up to the 2000 film, Charlie’s Angels. After three years, the Angels- Dylan (Drew Barrymore), Alex (Lucy Liu), and Natalie (Cameron Diaz) have another case on their hands. Led by the ever-faithful Bosley (the late Bernie Mac, replacing Bill Murray), they have to locate and protect two rings that contain information on the Federal Witness Protection Program database.

Standing in their way is the potentially suspect fallen Angel Madison (Demi Moore) and bad guy/Dylan’s ex Seamus (Justin Theroux).

As sequels go, it’s not bad. The problem is that the spark that made its predecessor successful is dimmed. It is entertaining, but not as good as the original narrative.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

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