Opinion – Tony Timpa was a 32-year-old white male who was killed by Dallas police back in 2016, after he cried and pleaded for help more than 30 times as police officers pinned his shoulders, knees, and neck to the ground. (His autopsy later showed his death was due to “the toxic effects of cocaine, and the stress associated with physical restraint.”) As is usually the case, the details of the case are usually watered down by what the person was accused of in the events leading up to the case.
Unfortunately, Tony Timpa’s death did not receive as much backlash as that of George Floyd, a black man who was needlessly killed by police in a very similar way, leaving many racists (yes, if you are against BLM, you are racist) to ask why are we not talking about Tony Timpa.
The thing that these racists will never understand is the social injustice part. They will never be pulled over or harassed because of their skin color because of a racist cop. (yes, not every cop is racist) but some cops are. It would be naive to think that racists do not exist in every aspect of society when there is a whole generation of racists that were against the civil rights movements of the 1960s that are still alive today and likely either directly or indirectly taught their children those same racial stereotypes. This is on both sides of the aisle. I know my parents taught me to be wary of the “white man”.
Racism does not go away when a law is signed. Racism only goes away when we stop teaching our kids racism. Looking at the diverse crowds we see today at the George Floyd protests, I can honestly say, the parents of the 80s did a better job than those parents of the 50s and 60s.
The protests we see today is not just for BLM, but it is really highlighting police brutality. There are several cities that have announced police budgets will be cut, (Minneapolis announced the entire police force will be disbanded.) We can’t force change overnight with a new law, but we can continue teaching our kids to not see color.. to treat every human being not just equally but respectfully as well.
Finally, think about our lives before COVID-19. We were a busy society, always coming and going. Being cooped up in a home, with limited places to go, limited human interaction does bring some blues to everyone. What were you doing when you first heard about George Floyd? The first time you saw the video? Chances are, you were at home, scrolling through social media. You had time to stop and think. Wow, this was some really F**** up s****. I believe George Floyds had more of an impact because we were already at home, already feeling a bit sad. If we were living our lives like normal, chances are, we would have scanned over the story and kept on with life because that is what we did before. George Floyds death I do not think would have had as big as an impact on a lot of people as it did because of COVID-19. It was a perfect melting pot as they say. If Tony Timpa was killed by police today, he would have caused more headlines, because George Floyds death did not just highlight social injustice, but police brutality as well, which is why his story is making the rounds again.
It is unfortunate that Tony Timpa lost his life in such a horrendous way, and fell on deaf ears, but change can only happen when everyone realizes the need for change and that is what George Floyd’s death has made everyone realize. We still have a way to learn and grow as a society, but anytime is a good time to start. If one good thing comes out of COVID-19, please let it be the real change that came from George Floyd’s death.
To the GOOD police officers of the world: You are still our heroes. You are still needed. Just please, please, be more careful and treat everyone equally.
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