One White Guy's Understanding of George Floyd's Murder

My great pal Andrew Overton lives in the western area of Virginia, close to the Tennessee border. It's beautiful country and racist as hell. Drew is from the South, but he's lived in the big city and definitely doesn't share the racial opinions of his neighbors. Lately, he's been posting more and more of his open opinions on Facebook, and when he put this one up, I asked if he minded if I shared. I remember talking to him after each of these incidents. The farcical one that took place in NYC was shortly after we had hung out.

Read to the end to understand why he's telling these emotional stories. White people can never really understand the reality that black Americans have experienced for the entire history of this fucked-up country. But there are emotions we can grasp.

Take it away, Drew:

I have three more stories to tell regarding the current state of our country and all that's happening. These are all true stories. The first addresses violence. The second addresses race, and the last addresses politics. After these posts, I'm taking a break.

I've been mugged 4 times. I thought it was 5, but my friend explained to me that I won 400.00 playing Ms. Pacman and tripled that on the pool table. Then, apparently, we decided it was a good idea to take a cab from downtown Chicago (we lived in the South Loop) to one of the casinos in Indiana. None of this was particularly unusual except we woke up at a train station in Indiana with no money and no wallets. I never went to the casino with my wallet, only cash. According to him, we ate a lot of drugs. So, don't eat a lot of drugs and go to a casino. You weren't mugged. You just made bad decisions

Back to the muggings! Working backwards, I was mugged twice in 10 minutes last year in Long Island City, NY. I won't bore you with the details, but neither one of them got anything from me. Amateurs. Did we tussle? Yes. A lot. In the street. A driver took the time to point out we could do this on the sidewalk. Fair point. Welcome to NYC! Mugger 1 bails and I continue walking to my hotel. The second mugger appears. Demands my money! "Are you fucking kidding me?" is my response. He picks up a police barricade (Plastic. For parades or traffic) and threatens me with it. Now, I think I'm being punked. Worst Mugger Ever! We tussled. I keep thinking "I'm 50 years old. How does this end well for me?" Then, I remembered that I am mean as fuck. Sometimes. There's a phone on the ground. He thinks it's his. I think it's his. I have the phone. I tell him to walk away and I'll leave the phone at the front desk of my hotel; otherwise, this phone is hitting the train tracks. Blue lights are in the distance. Mugger 2 disappears. Cops arrive. They offer me a ride to my hotel. Cool. We took that 20 foot ride and laughed the whole way. Also, the phone was mine. So fucking glad I didn't destroy it!

My first mugging? Lincoln Park, Chicago. Armitage and Sheffield. I walked past two guys with hoodies on. Alarm bells went off. Liberal pride said, "Chill." Listen to your alarm bells. There is a gun to my head. There is a man telling me he's going to kill me. Repeatedly. I'd never really known fear before that moment. "I'm going to kill you." Repeatedly. My wife was one block away. Terror. Fear. Tears. I closed my eyes and told him I could not identify him. I didn't want to see it coming. I believed he was going to kill me. He let me live.

Derek Chauvin did not let George Floyd live. An officer sworn to serve and protect killed George Floyd.

A ruthless criminal put a gun to my head and let me live.

Note: Drew added in a comment, "I cried typing it, and it's been 25 years. The fear that George Floyd felt is unimaginable to anyone who has not faced death. He faced it for 9 minutes. I cry now."